SARASOTA – Dozens of residents packed a meeting in a Sarasota City Hall Tuesday evening about placing a new Walmart in the Ringling Shopping Center.
The meeting lasted over 4 hours, and we still don't know how the commissioners feel about the issue, nor will we hear about how they feel about the issue this week.
They heard from Walmart officials, as well as those appealing the plan to build the store. On one side, you have people arguing that the proposed 98,000 square foot supercenter is a department store. Under the zoning code, a department store cannot be built at the site, located at the intersection of Ringling Boulevard and Lime Avenue, the former site of Sarasota’s first Publix.
Then there were the Walmart supporters, claiming that it's not a department store and since the city’s planning board approved the idea, the store should be built.
More than 40 Sarasota residents signed up to speak, but none of them got their voices heard. And because the meeting is continued on into the night, city commissioners decided to hold a special meeting Tuesday, February 26th at city hall at 6:00pm. That is when the residents will be able to speak, and that is when we expect to finally get a vote from the city commission on the fate of the proposed store.