Whole Foods Parking Lot to Replace Wetlands

Sarasota County, Florida, has approved a plan to pave over forested wetlands and build parking for a Whole Foods Market. To compensate, the developer is donating another plot of wetlands to the public.
February 10, 2016, 8am PST | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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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."

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Published on Monday, February 1, 2016 in Quartz
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