At the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations meeting last night, representatives from the Englewood and Lake Sarasota associations had some suggestions for residents located near Benderson's latest commercial plan, the Siesta Promenade.
Siesta Promenade is a shopping center with a 150-room hotel being proposed by Benderson for the corner of Stickney Point Road and U.S. 41. The project was pitched in June, and incited an instant reaction from the surrounding neighborhood, Pine Shores. Benderson anticipates filing the concept plan within the next week.
Sura Kochman, a part time resident of the Pine Shores area, gave a presentation to representatives from Southwest Alliance in Englewood and Lake Sarasota about the Benderson project and her neighbors’ concerns surrounding the development. She spearheaded the Pine Shores Neighborhood Alliance, a mixture of the various stakeholders affected by the development on Stickney Point Road and U.S. 41, after the commercial center was pitched in June.
“If something is knocking on your back door, people come out,” said Lourdes Ramirez, president of CONA. She helped Kochman organize the alliance to get some answers from Benderson about the development.
Cathy Antunes, CONA vice president, expressed her disappointment that the development did not match up with the Sarasota County comprehensive plan, which calls for new developments to be walk-able and have no negative impacts on surrounding residential areas.
“(Benderson)… they do one thing,” Antunes said. “This is standard urban sprawl.”
Multiple attendees of the CONA meeting suggested the Pine Shores alliance seek some legal counsel to combat the development. Others said Pine Shores needed to have clear and concise requests to ask of the Sarasota County Commission when the plan came before the board.
“I don’t have the confidence with some professionals in the county to do their due diligence,” Kochman said. “We know this needs to be developed—but do it in a less dense, less intense way.”