Ex-Manatee County commissioner: Keep Long Bar Pointe stipulations from previous project approval

July 31, 2013 

In response to "Long Bar: Developers say Sarasota Bay will not be destroyed by seagrass, mangrove removal" (Herald, July 29): As the sitting commissioner for District 3 and chairman of the Board of County Commissioners in 2004 when an initial approval was given to this development, there were stipulations I think need to be pointed out.

It is important to remember that this property has an existing approval for up to 1,658 residential units, not 4,000 as the developer would like you to believe. So there is no Bert Harris Act violation here; they have a signed and filed Land Development Agreement for Long Bar Pointe.

And that LDA does not allow for any docks in Sarasota Bay or the trimming or cutting of mangroves unless brought back to the county commission to request a change. So the present approval is viable and compatible with the surrounding development.

It was agreed to in order to protect the natural resource which is Sarasota Bay. The developer states things have changed; what has changed? Sarasota Bay is still an Estuary of National Significance and an Outstanding Florida Water.

Also I want to address the math used for seagrass destruction and mangrove removal. A channel 45-feet wide by 2,100-feet long and 5-feet deep (at mean low tide) will require the removal of 472,500 cubic feet of bay bottom! That is the math they leave out.

And 225 linear feet of mangroves removed by what depth?

Their own fear vs. facts document states they will remove 5 percent of the mangroves, which appears to equal 20-25 acres. Mitigation, how do you mitigate a national estuary?

And lastly the text amendment language the developer is requesting would have devastating future consequences to this county. So say no to the mixed use and the text amendment. Let them make their money by building what was approved in 2004!

Jane von Hahmann


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