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West Villages residents fight to keep Venice address

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NORTH PORT, FL (WWSB) -  Some homeowners in the West Villages, which  has a Venice address, may soon be getting a new North Port mailing address. But not everyone is on-board with the idea.

On Monday, North Port resident Victor Dobrin went to North Port City Hall to hand deliver his petition with 742 names on it. The names of people who want to keep their Venice addresses.

"We don't want to distance ourselves from the city. We want to have cooperation," said Dobrin. "People selected this address for schools for their children, for the value."

In the early 2,000's, when the area was annexed into North Port, the locations, which used to be in Venice was never officially changed to Norht Port addresses. Dobrin fears changing it now would lessen the value of the new home he bought in April in Gran Paradiso.

"I don't think it's meant as a slap in the face on either side. I think what's happening is a lot of misinformation," said North Port Mayor Vanessa Carusone.

West Villages

Mayor Carusone believes home values would not be negatively affected. After all, the homes are already taxed by the City and receive city services through trash pickup and the like.

"We just invested a huge amount of money in that West Village district in the Braves. This is going to be a primary location," said Mayor Carusone.

"We did not start this. This was resurfacing from an old thing," said Dobrin.

With the next U.S. census beginning next year, the city wants to lock down the address issue so the residents count towards the people who live in the city.

"The more people you have in your populous, the more federal dollars for things like the lights that they want on 41. The intersection improvements, the River Road improvements," Mayor Carusone told us.

But, that isn't changing the minds of the homeowners who signed the petition.

"Ultimately it's the decision of the residents in the West Villages," Dobrin said.

Either way, the Mayor is prepared to work with the residents.

"What we're looking to do is get West Villages their own independent zip code. So that it's North Port, don't get me wrong, but it'll be their own independent zip code," Mayor Carusone said.