Sarasota News Leader

12/07/2012

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A TORTUOUS PATH A Walmart Neighborhood store opened in September on North Tamiami Trail. Some opponents of a Walmart on Ringling Boulevard say the second new store is not needed. Photo by Norman Schimmel ANALYSIS: MANY QUESTIONS LEFT UNANSWERED, AS WALMART APPEAL PROCESS FORMALLY GETS UNDER WAY By Stan Zimmerman City Editor Call it the "slo-mo appeal." So far it has come in fragments — an email one day, a payment another day and a written form on a third. The objective is to obtain a rehearing by the Sarasota City Commission of a Nov. 14 split decision by the Planning Board to approve the construction of a Walmart to replace the Ringling Shopping Center in downtown Sarasota. While the appeal was widely reported last week, the actual appeal itself was not filed until the afternoon of Dec. 4. The required $1,597 filing fee was paid on Dec. 3. City staff received an email on Nov. 26 suggesting an appeal would be filed. That was the last day, by law, that a notice of appeal could be filed following the Planning Board decision. So far, seven people's names are on the appeal: Kelly Kirschner, Ron Burks, Candy Spaulding, Pat Kolodgy, Juanita Rawlinson, Jerry Sparkman and Marian Maxson. Spaulding is the president of the Alta Vista Neighborhood Association, which abuts the property where the Walmart would be built. City Attorney Bob Fournier said Walmart representatives verbally challenged the legitimacy of the appeal, saying the actual appeal was not filed on time, nor was the fee paid on time, nor was the appeal filed on a proper form.

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