Residents frustrated with delay of Burnt Store Road transformation

Author: Jillian Haggerty
Published: Updated:

Supermarkets, stores and even a medical facility could be on their way to a neighborhood in desperate need of amenities.

The Burnt Store Coalition wants to change 40 acres of land in Charlotte County from residential to commercial, but it could be a while before anything gets done.

A request from those who live either near or on Burnt Store Road can’t come soon enough. More than 20 people came out to express their concerns to the Charlotte County Planning and Zoning Board on Monday.

Board members said it is going to take time to research before making any decision on rezoning residential to commercial.

“The industries, the private sectors will come when they know their market is there and available to them,” said Shaun Cullinan, the planning and zoning official.

Cullinan said this project to bring in commercial development, like a grocery store or medical facility has resurfaced. The plan was originally put in place in the 2005-2006 time frame but then the recession hit which paused any further work.

“Commercial follows rooftops, medical follows rooftops, and so the people who live in there, those are the ones right now there might not be enough and we are having studies done,” said Cullinan.

But those who live near Burnt Store Road said they have waited long enough for the change.

“It is extremely frustrating we have people who are using the fire department as ambulance services to get back and forth. We have major issues here that the county should be prioritizing,” said John Fleming, the chairman of the Burnt Store Coalition.

But Cullinan said this won’t be an overnight decision even if this is approved.

“As with any development, it comes when it comes. They may be able to get commercial faster they may not commercial developers have formulas and demographic research millions of millions of dollars of research,” Cullinan said.

The people said they need more.

“You are looking at people who are in need of medical facilities and need food those are two major issues the way we look at it,” Fleming said.

Cullinan told WINK News this will be brought to the commissioners for a vote sometime in September, and there is no telling how long it will take for a final decision.

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