New Dairy Queen and other commercial space expected to open in 2017 on Stickney Point Road

County Commission approves rezoning petition to enable infill development near Siesta Key to proceed

An engineering drawing shows the site plan. Image courtesy Sarasota County
An engineering drawing shows the site plan. Image courtesy Sarasota County

The owner of the property at 2121 and 2131 Stickney Point Road — just east of Siesta Key — hopes to open a new Dairy Queen and two speculative commercial buildings there in 2017, following unanimous County Commission approval of the rezoning of the site, the owner’s agent has told The Sarasota News Leader.

“We’d like to get started with site and development approval immediately,” James W. Herston of Port Charlotte, president of Herston Engineering Services, said on Nov. 22. After the county permitting process has been concluded, Herston said, the build-out should take six to nine months.

On Sept. 15, the county’s Planning Commission voted 9-0 to recommend the County Commission approve the project and rezoning. During its regular meeting on Nov. 22 in Sarasota, the County Commission did not seek a presentation on the proposal for the infill development at the intersection of 2121 Stickney Point Road and Couver Drive. Chair Alan Maio noted that he had no cards from members of the public requesting to speak on the topic during a public hearing. When he then asked for a motion, newly installed Commissioner Mike Moran called for approval of an amendment to the county’s Future Land Use Map in the county’s Comprehensive Plan to change the designation of the 0.41-acre site from Medium Density Residential to Community Commercial Center; the motion included approval of the rezoning petition. The Comprehensive Plan amendment was scheduled to take effect 31 days after its adoption, the document said, provided no challenge was raised during the period.

An aerial map shows the location of the Eager Beaver Car Wash (marked with the balloon) to the left of the project site. Image from Google Maps
An aerial map shows the location of the Eager Beaver Car Wash (marked with the balloon) near the project site. Image from Google Maps

Joe Schiess, regional manager for Eager Beaver Car Wash — located at 6449 S. Tamiami Trail — told Herston after the vote that he was pleased to know about the coming improvements at the site. “That corner sure needs a makeover.”

The car wash is close to the property.

James Herston. File photo
James Herston. File photo

Herston explained to Schiess — as he had to the Planning Commission — that the Firestone Complete Auto Care Center adjacent to the project area will remain there. Schiess responded that he and his staff refer “a lot of customers” to the business, so he also was pleased with that news.

According to material provided to the Planning and County commissions, the 50-seat Dairy Queen will have a drive-through window. The restaurant is proposed to be the largest of the three new commercial spaces on the property, at 2,500 square feet; the smallest will have 1,800 square feet.

Herston told the News Leader on Nov. 22 that the owner of the property, JC Group USA — whose president is Jerry Cybalski, state corporation records show — already is working with a couple of prospective tenants for the other two commercial units, though Herston said he could not name them.

The project also entails new sidewalks along Couver Drive and Stickney Point Road and landscape buffering. The existing parking lot for the Firestone center will be improved in conjunction with the new development, plans show. An aboveground stormwater retention facility and an underground stormwater vault system — beneath part of the parking lot — are other facets of the site plan.

A report provided to the County Commission in advance of the Nov. 22 meeting says that county transportation staff expects the new commercial development to generate an extra 448 vehicle trips during the day, plus 22 during the afternoon peak drive period. “According to both the short-range and long-range generalized level of service analysis,” the report continues, Stickney Point Road from U.S. 41 to Gateway Avenue “is expected to operate above the adopted level of service with the addition of the development traffic.” Therefore, the document explains, the project “will not create any additional impacts to the transportation network.”

That adopted level of service is D, but traffic volume in 2014 and anticipated volumes in 2020 and in 2035 put the level of service at C, the staff report notes.

In response to concerns raised by county Transportation Planning Division staff, Herston told the News Leader, customers will be able to make right turns only from the site onto Couver Drive, which intersects with Stickney Point Road. Because of a special exception granted to part of the property in 1987, the driveway connecting to Couver will be aligned with the Jasper Street intersection on the north side of Couver. A second access to the property already exists on Stickney Point Road.

An aerial view shows the site of the project (in yellow). Image courtesy Sarasota County
An aerial view shows the part of the site for which the rezoning was sought (in yellow). Image courtesy Sarasota County

The development area is across Stickney Point Road from the entrance to Sarasota Pavilion.

JC Group USA is a division of JC Group, which was established in 1960 as a builder of single-family homes in the Kitchener/Waterloo area of Ontario its website says. The Canadian company has evolved over the years to become a developer of restaurants, professional buildings, commercial and retail plazas and even golf courses, according to its website.