Sarasota News Leader

02/22/2013

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HALFWAY POINT A new Walmart opened on the North Tamiami Trail in September. Photo by Norman Schimmel WALMART HEARING PUTS RESIDENTS EYEBALL TO EYEBALL WITH CORPORATE HEAVYWEIGHT By Stan Zimmerman City Editor There are few joys finer for a student of law than watching a good lawyer salt the record for an appeal. Just as uncommon is the subtle use of political muscle in a quasi-judicial process. The ground rules called for the applicant and city to start from scratch to explain the petition for site plan approval. Walmart is not asking for a rezoning or approval of any special exceptions or other conditions. At issue is a straightforward site plan approval process. Tuesday, Feb. 19, saw both types of exercises, as Walmart���s attorneys tried to counter The second ground rule called for a quasi-juan appeal by the Alta Vista Neighborhood dicial hearing during which decisions can be Association that made only on the basis would stop the comof evidence and sworn My role was not to review site testimony entered into pany from opening a 98,000-square-foot plans or interpret the code. the record. That was store at the former the record Walmart���s Mike Taylor Ringling Boulevard Former Planning Chief attorney Jim Porter City of Sarasota Publix site. salted with particular

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