Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Neighborhood opposes Benderson at Stickney Point - Update

A neighborhood workshop on Monday asked area residents for their wish lists of feasibility studies for a planned development at the key intersection of U.S. 41 and Stickney Point Road.

But most of them just wish the project wouldn't move forward at all.

Siesta Promenade, a hotly contested mixed-use development, was back in the public eye Monday for the first time since early October, when Sarasota County tabled the discussion to set a Critical Area Plan boundary. The public workshop was designed so the Manatee County-based Benderson Development Co. and Sarasota County could collect public input about what would be included in the scope of work for the project that's expected to break ground sometime next year.


Photo from Herald Tribune

A citizen's response to the Siesta Promenade traffic issue, sent to the HT reporter:

I went to two of the Benderson meetings and signed the sheet for continued updates and received nothing.  Therefore, I missed this last meeting.  Not happy! 
Benderson has a history of morphing situations into what ever they want.  Look at the original proposals for the town center.  It was supposed to be a smart growth development. Here we go again with Siesta Promenade. Traffic studies are antiquated and the community and visitors are left with ever increasing safety issues. I attempted to get the latest comprehensive plan update to recognize this and put effort in developing a more relevant/ safety conscious traffic study connected directly with the building approval process. People have listened but the many stakeholders have no impetus to take the necessary steps. I've explored many avenues. 
I have come to the conclusion that a state comprehensive plan amendment will force the need. 
Data presently isn't designed for the need.  I've tried for months to get at the requirements for evacuation routes and who is in charge and monitors these .  Yes, there seems to be some requirements and Siesta Promenade, Fruitville, Bee Ridge and others all are designated evacuation routes. 
There are silos of interests here that are not combining efforts to put safety first.
Maybe this is some fuel for future articles. 
Vicki Nighswander MAT, MPH

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