Sarasota County Commission approves new car dealership

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VENICE- Thanks to a 4-1 vote from the Sarasota County Commission, a new car dealership is coming to Venice, but many residents are unhappy saying the dealership doesn’t fit in their community.
The Roundabout at the intersection of Jacaranda Blvd. and East Venice Ave will be the home of the new dealership, but residents of the nearby subdivisions are worried about the problems it will cause.

“We all know that the roundabout is the circle of death,” Melissa Buckskin said. “So we will get more accidents, I just don’t think it’s appropriate for a car dealership to be there, we have commercial on 41 it should stay out there.”

Attorney for the Dealership Jeffery Boone says according to county traffic projections the dealership will bring fewer cars to the corner than other types of retailers.

“With all the concerns in the community of all the traffic at the roundabout,” Boone says. “We’re going to be able to put in a use that actually generates up to 85% less traffic than what a traditional commercial center would generate we think is going to be really good for the community.”

The land was already zoned for commercial use, but needed a special exemption to sell vehicles. Boone says a dealership can provide a valuable service to a growing south Sarasota county.

“There’s an imbalance in auto dealerships in the South County,” Boone said. “And it’s great to be able to give the folks who live in this part of the county to be able to find a car without having to drive to Sarasota or Port Charlotte.”

Melissa Buckskin says they knew commercial development was coming, but residents would rather see something like restaurants or shops that fit in the residential community.

“It would get Atlanta Braves tourism,” Bucksin said. “From just going back out on 75 up to Sarasota for restaurants, to possibly stop and eat in our area, before the hit the highway.”
The only commissioner to vote against the dealership was Nancy Detert saying it didn’t fit the area. The rest of the commissioners approved the dealership saying qualifications for the exemption were met.

The owners for the dealership group still have not said what kind of cars will be sold there.

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Samantha Sonner
Multimedia Journalist Samantha Sonner comes to the Suncoast from Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she worked as a reporter and host for KRWG TV/FM reporting on local politics, immigration, and border issues. Samantha grew up on Long Island, New York. She received her Bachelor of Science in Broadcast and Digital Journalism from Syracuse University. At Syracuse, she worked at WAER, the campus NPR station and interned at television stations in Central New York. Samantha is excited for the Florida Sunshine, and to be living so close to fantastic beaches. Feel free to follow her on Facebook and Twitter for story updates and news, or to send her story tips and ideas. You can also email her at samantha.sonner@snntv.com.