VENICE (WWSB) - This is a good day for some and a not so good day for others. Sarasota County Commissioners voted in favor of a new hospital here in Venice.
Plans for a new massive hospital featuring 290 beds and a helicopter pad got the go ahead today at the Commission Chambers in Venice. The more than 200-million dollar facility will be built on around 50 acres on East Venice Avenue near Jacaranda Boulevard.
“We are excited, elated, everyone that was in this room that had been here for months providing information and providing their stories to the commissioners about Venice Regional stood up and they were so excited about it,” said Karen Fordham, CEO of Venice Regional Bayfront Health.
Four of the five commissioners voted in favor of the planning, zoning and final adoption for Venice Regional Hospital. The lone commissioner against it was Nancy Detert. A lot of the people who live in the housing developments nearby including right across the street from the site of the new hospital have been protesting this for months. They have many concerns and are very upset and disappointed by today’s decision.
“It’s not compatible with this area, it will cause traffic hell, a traffic nightmare and forever we’re going to be worrying about our safety,” said Henry Skoczylas, a resident of the Blue Heron Pond development.
Hospital officials tell us construction of the new hospital should begin by this summer and it should be finished within 3 years. As for the opponents of the hospital, they’re not sure what their next move will be.