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ANOTHER LOOK: Charlotte County Commissioners agree to revisit the Burnt Store Area Plan

The Burnt Store Area Plan was created in 2005 to guide development in the area.
Posted at 6:42 PM, Mar 19, 2024

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. — At a workshop on Tuesday, Charlotte County Commissioners agreed to review the Burnt Store Area Plan first approved in 2005.

For months the Burnt Store Corridor Coalition, a group representing over 11,000 residents in the Burnt Store area have been pushing for an updated plan. BSCC said issues like drainage, flooding, wildlife impacts and the lack of commercial businesses like grocery stores available to residents needed to be addressed in a new plan.

At the workshop, Charlotte County Planning and Zoning Official Shaun Cullinan presented data to the commissioners regarding the development of the Burnt Store area including commercial and residential zoning statistics. According to Cullinan, there are more than 500,000 square feet of commercial zoning on Burnt Store Road, but the low population density has not attracted commercial developers to the area.

“They [commercial real estate developers] have a number of requirements before a shopping plaza or specific types of operations will choose to locate somewhere,” said Cullinan. “It's a combination of rooftops, demographics, income, all sorts of things that they feed into supercomputers to determine when an area is ready for commercial use. That is one of the reasons there hasn't been any commercial to date because there is roughly only 5500 residents.”

BSCC Chairman John Flemming said there have been private talks of a retailer possibly building on Burnt Store Road, to serve residents who currently have to drive upwards of 5 miles to shop.

“We have a large company that has said this is a very attractive area,” said Flemming. “There are a lot more people here and they understand there will be a lot more people coming. So, for them this area is getting larger, it's more popular for them and there's more opportunity.”

Over 10,500 residential units have been approved for development on Burnt Store, which District 1 Commissioner Chris Constance said should help draw in commercial business.

“We are hoping that as there is infill, and we're seeing a lot of construction now, that commercial [businesses] will follow,” said Constance.

Commissioners agreed to officially revisit the Burnt Store Area Plan at an undetermined meeting in April and possibly approve an updated version, something Cullinan said could take 16-18 months to create.

Fleming said that putting the Burnt Store Area Plan on the commission’s agenda was a step in the right direction, but hopes public comment will be taken into account as a new plan is developed.