Whole Foods Parking Lot to Replace Wetlands
Environmentalists have yet another reason to suspect the upscale grocery chain. After securing permission to pave over a section of wetlands, Deena Shanker writes, "The grocery chain that champions 'environmental stewardship' can now move forward with plans for a new 40,000-square-foot store in a shopping center that will also include a WaWa convenience store, a gas station, and other businesses. This is Whole Foods' second location in Sarasota."
The change involved a rezoning of the site, parts of which have been protected since 1997. "Staff members from the county's Planning and Development Services Department objected to the re-zoning, which removed requirements to preserve the wetlands."
In the face of protest from residents, the developer made some compensation. "To offset the loss, Whole Foods' developer, Atlanta-based SJ Collins Enterprises, is buying 41 acres of similarly protected land in the Manatee River Basin, about 30 miles away, and donating it to the public."