The Sarasota County Commission approved a re-zone and Comprehensive Plan amendment to allow a Walmart on the corner of Beneva and Bee Ridge roads during an April 24 public hearing.
More than 60 people filled the chambers before commissioners considered a proposal for a Walmart Neighborhood Market to replace River’s Edge Community Church.
Nearly 20 residents spoke against zoning and land-use changes to allow the development, which would allow the Rev. David McCoy to shed the costly land and relocate the church to the 7300 block of Palmer Road. Two people spoke in favor of the proposal.
Opponents cited concerns about traffic at the intersection and side streets, noise and the potential for crime at a large commercial development. Supporters applauded the plan as a new option for grocery shopping with lower prices.
The 41,800-square-foot store includes a drive-through pharmacy.
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