Growth debate in Venice

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VENICE, Fla. - The impacts of new development are being discussed in Venice tonight. A number of new housing projects in the area have been approved recently and more are up for debate.

The Sarasota Council Of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) is holding the forum, called "The future of Venice: Charming or Choked." The organization, which represents 70 local neighborhood associations, says they will look at how developers are planning east of I-75. The infrastructure and financial impacts it could have on taxpayers.

"We believe there are so many spots in the urban area that we can focus on infill development where infrastructure already exists. Schools, roads, fire stations. We don't need to encourage sprawl,” Says President Lourdes Ramirez

The forum, which starts at 6 p.m. at the Venice Public Library, will also focus on a proposed development project at the corner of Jackson and Boarder roads. A 260-plus home development is being touted by Neal Communities, though many neighbors there are fighting the project.