Will the Sarasota County Commission approve the property designation change on Tuesday, so that Venice Hospital can start construction at their new location?
By Francesco Abbruzzino, The Scoop News
The future of the Venice Regional Bayfront Hospital should be decided next week, at the Sarasota County Commission meeting. Basically, they will be reviewing and voting on two issues:
- Change the property designation from moderate density residential to office.
- The agreement for the hospital to pay for widening E. Venice Ave from the property boundary to the roundabout.
Changing the property designation is a hurdle, one would think, since they need four out of five commissioners to vote yes. However, previous meetings have basically sealed this vote as a done deal. Especially since the County Manager indicated that the impact fees that the county will gain, have already been put in the budget to cover some of the River Rd expansion cost.
The widening agreement is the one sticking point, with Detert noting several concerns. Also, the hospital is still not happy with the agreement. However, the commission has indicated that the negotiations have ended and either the hospital takes the current deal or there will be no deal.
The widening of E. Venice Ave is key, since the traffic forecast is expected to go from 2,245/day to 8,841/day once the hospital is up and running.
There really has not been any conversations form the commissioners regarding a traffic study that the hospital conducted, which indicated that the roundabout is already outdated and that it needed to go. If it is outdated now, how will it be with an increase of over 6,000 vehicles from the hospital and a few hundred more form the new residential development on the corner of Jacaranda and Venice Ave? The commissioners know about this study and the public has been including this concern in their communications to them, yet the commissioners have ignored this issue.
The meeting is this Tuesday in Venice at the Robert L Anderson building, in S. Venice. You can watch the live stream at http://sarasotacounty.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=42 and the agenda can be reviewed by clicking here.
Below are some previous articles on this subject.