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Sarasota News Leader March 8, 2013 Page 29 AT THE PETITIONERS' REQUEST, THE COUNTY COMMISSION DELAYS CONSIDERATION OF A ZONING CHANGE TO ALLOW A NEW WALMART TO BE BUILT AT THE BEE RIDGE/BENEVA ROADS INTERSECTION By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor April 24: That was the decision of the Sarasota County Commission this week as it sought a new date for a public hearing on a rezoning request to allow a Walmart grocery store to be constructed at the Bee Ridge Road/Beneva Road intersection. The Sarasota County Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the change. The site encompasses 4.03 acres on the southwest corner of the intersection, according to a memo from Polk to the County Commission. With Chairwoman Carolyn Mason out sick, The zoning change would permit construction Tom Polk, the county's director of planning of a 41,180-square-foot freestanding Walmart and development services, told the commis- Neighborhood Market grocery store. sioners the petitioners were seeking another With Vice Chairman date for the hearing. Charles Hines presidBecause a 2-2 tie on ing, Polk first suggestAbout 300 [signers of a petition] ed moving the pubthe rezoning request would be the same had absolutely no idea this development lic hearing to April 9. thing as a denial, Polk was under consideration. However, Polk pointpointed out, the petied out that meeting Sharon Whalen Sarasota resident would be in Venice. tioners wanted to have the matter heard by all "I can tell you I would five commissioners. be jumping up and down and screaming," Already, this latest Walmart proposal has been Commissioner Christine Robinson said, if she drawing the ire of nearby residents, three of were interested in speaking about the matter whom took the opportunity March 6 to tell the and it was heard in south county instead of in commissioners the intersection in question is Sarasota. too busy to support another business such as Then the commissioners settled on the delay a Walmart. until 1:30 p.m. on April 24. The site, which has been home to the Rivers Edge Community Church, is zoned Village I Commercial Center. Don Neu, the agent representing Beneva Land Trust/Rivers Edge Community Church Inc., has requested the zoning be changed to Commercial Corridor. After seconding Robinson's motion to that effect, Commissioner Joe Barbetta explained to the audience that no fault for the postponement rested with the developer. With this type of quasi-judicial proceeding, he added, it was preferable to have the full commission present.

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