New church, expanded lanes meet approval in Rotonda

ROTONDA WEST — Garry Clark and Venkat Vattikuti have big plans in place for Rotonda, and the Rotonda West Association met them with overwhelming approval.

Clark, pastor of Fellowship Church in Englewood, said he plans to open a new church on Parade Circle — tentatively in April 2014. The facility will include a 1,000-seat auditorium on the 15.5-acre, church-owned plot. Clark said the new church is being built from self-raised funds.

“We chose the bull’s-eye of Rotonda,” Clark said at the meeting. “Nothing has been built there since 1969. We want to stay debt-free.”

Jay Lyons, RWA manager, said the new church could mean more for the area.

“It’s going to be a beautiful centerpiece for Rotonda West,” Lyons said. “I think it’s going to cause a lot of other businesses to start developing in that commercial corridor on Parade Circle.”

Another project that was met with support from both the board of directors and the members was the lane, sidewalk and bike path expansion throughout Rotonda.

Vattikuti, transportation engineer/planner for Charlotte County, proposed the project.

“We want a blessing from the association before going to county commissioners,” Vattikuti said. “It will be the main roadways that will be worked on. It will be safe to walk or bike along roadways.”

Vattikuti proposed lane changes to include Boundary Boulevard and Rotonda Boulevard West, East, North and South.

“The plans are mostly drafted,” he said. “Within a month, bidding should start. We’ll work on (sidewalks), then the bike path.”

Lyons said the project could help better bridge the Rotonda and Englewood communities.

“Anybody can see how things are going on Parade Circle with a multipurpose path and how it’s being utilized tremendously,” Lyons said. “I think by bringing Rotonda West into the rest of the Englewood community, along with having bike paths to go through the entire area, is going to be a boon for the entire community. I think the people who have come to the meetings have told the board of directors and the county (Charlotte) that this is something that they want to see. I think it was a very great moment.”

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