Monday, January 29, 2018

RaceTrac at East Rd. -- Workshop Jan. 30

Letter from Steve Stottlemyer about a RaceTrac gas station proposed for East Rd. and Fruitville Rd.:



A PROPOSED RACE TRAC GAS STATION ACROSS FROM SUN-N-FUN AT THE SOUTHWEST QUADRANT OF FRUITVILLE ROAD AND EAST ROAD IS BACK DESPITE BEING DEFEATED TWICE BEFORE – IF YOU’RE OPPOSED TO STRIP COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT IT’S UP TO YOU TO STEP UP AND STOP THIS

That’s Right!!!  Here they come again!!!  For those of you who may be new to east of I-75, in 2002, the Board of County Commission approved an ILW (Industrial Light Warehouse) rezoning on 35 acres located on the south side of Fruitville Road, just west of East Road.  In exchange for ILW zoning, the eight property owners at the time agreed to “Perpetual Covenants & Restrictions" in a Resolution to forever forbid certain commercial uses on the property, in lieu of preparing a Critical Area Plan (CAP) for this area. The restrictive covenants and agreements forbid the following:
"Restaurant, fast food restaurant, delicatessen, bar, or tavern for on premise consumption of alcohol, automotive service stations or truck stops and similar uses, Convenience stores, with or without the sale of fuel. General retail store for single occupant exceeding a minimum of 100,000 square feet of continuous floor area within a single building,"
The County Commission was adamant Fruitville Road, east of I-75, would not be stripped out with intensive commercial uses as was done on the west side of I-75. Think University Parkway.
Despite these restrictions, the current Owner Attorney Bill Saba who purchased out of foreclosure a portion of the 35 acres is back once again trying to create strip commercial development along Fruitville Road.  This time he is attempting to remove the “Perpetual Covenants & Restrictions” on just the corner parcel of Fruitville Road and East Road to put up a RaceTrac Gas Station.  A brief history of their previous shenanigans is as follows:

1. In 2013 as part of a Rezoning Petition No. 13-10 for a small parcel within the 35 acre Fruitville Industrial Park, Attorney Bill Merrill representing Saba tried to convince the Board of County Commissioners to remove the restrictive covenants and agreements with no public input, but the County Commission said no. 

2. In 2015 Attorney Bill Saba hired Attorney Bill Merrill and Land Planner Bo Medred (think Gabbert Transfer Station in the Celery Fields) to file Rezone Petition No. 15-11 to again attempt to remove these “Perpetual Covenants and Restrictions” restricting commercial uses the Owners had entered into with Sarasota County.   This petition was denied because the citizens of east County stood up and objected to the strip commercialization along Fruitville Road east of I-75 and because the Commission felt it should live up to County commitments. 

3. RaceTrac has employed Lawyers John Patterson and Michael Siegel of the Shutts & Bowen Law Firm to make this new attempt in spite of the fact that it was Nora Patterson, wife of John Patterson, who as a member of the County Commission, insisted on the restrictions in the 2002 rezoning.  

If Attorney Saba is successful this third time, other land owners will also request unrestricted commercial zoning on their properties. Citizens and property owners east of I-75 have managed to fight strip commercial east of I-75 on Fruitville Road for years.  And through the efforts of ever vigilante neighbors, we have been successful. But this type of strip commercial zoning will only continue moving east towards Lorraine Road. You and only you can make a difference.
Please take the time to show up at the scheduled neighborhood workshop on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 6:00 pm at the Shriners Sahib Temple located at 600 North Beneva Road and let Attorney Saba and RaceTrac know we citizens do not want strip commercial development on Fruitville Road.

RaceTrac filing here.

-- Steve Stottlemyer 941-724-4835.


1 comment:

  1. PLease NO, it is a virus spreading across a beautiful town. University is an example of this plight that should be viewed when deciding if more of bad is warranted. A balance of parts must be mainatined in order to provide various attractions for all members of the community and its visitors. Urban, retail sprawl is not a sustainable long term solution and there countless examples of its failure.

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