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Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 27 One of Sarasota's bigdirector of the Neighgest neighbor-verborhood and DevelopWe a r e s e e i n g i n c r e a s e d ment Services office. sus-development conflicts ensued. And polarization, increased incompatibilities, "And there are internal while Burks emerged longer and longer meetings, an increasing conflicts." victorious in the zon- number of variances. Nowhere was this ing battle, the econoKarin Murphy more visible than with my turned against furPresident the recent decision to Karin Murphy Planning & Consulting Inc. ther development and deny Walmart the abilhe shelved his plans. ity to build a 24-hour The property — still a row of one-story warehouses — retains Burks' desired "downtown "supercenter" on the site of the former Ringedge" zoning, but it reflects a milestone in ling Shopping Center. Only a stone's throw Sarasota battles regarding how to change from Burks' proposed project, the proposal received the blessing of the city's zoning staff land-use designations. and won in a 3-2 vote taken by the Planning Board. LEGACY DEFECTS Sarasota's current zoning code was estab- Neighbors launched an appeal, and by a 3-2 lished in 1974, and it is showing its age. "It's vote, the City Commission decided to deny never been overhauled," said Tim Litchet, the Walmart's proposal. Numerous Alta Vista neighborhood residents attended City Commission meetings to oppose the construction of a Walmart on the site of the former Ringling Shopping Center. Photo by Norman Schimmel

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