Manatee Commission to consider Long Bar Pointe project on Tuesday

skennedy@bradenton.comAugust 6, 2013 

The developers of Long Bar Pointe have applied to form a community development district to defray costs. TIFFANY TOMPKINS-CONDIE/Bradenton Herald File

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MANATEE -- Plans for a controversial development at Long Bar Pointe will take center stage at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday during the Manatee County Commission's land-use meeting.

The meeting about the southwest Manatee project is at the Bradenton Area Convention Center, One Haben Blvd. in Palmetto, instead of the commission's regular chambers to accommodate an expected overflow crowd.

The convention center can handle 700 or more, according to county officials.

Two Manatee Comprehensive Plan amendments are on the agenda. Long Bar developers Carlos Beruff and Larry Lieberman say they need the amendments to build a "coastal resort" community, including residences, boat basin or marina, hotel, conference center, office and shopping areas.

A cadre of citizens' groups has vowed to oppose the changes, saying the changes and resulting development would cause environmental damage to Sarasota Bay, clog the area with unwanted traffic and strip the county of its ability to protect ecologically sensitive areas.

Developers say they can mitigate any environmental damage their project will cause and even predict a "net environmental benefit." They also point to the possibility of a world-class resort, complete with a five-star hotel, and the projected creation of hundreds of jobs.

The comprehensive plan is a county document that guides future development.

Developers seek changes in the form of a map amendment, which the county professional planning staff supports; and changes in the form of a text amendment, which the professional staff opposes.

The map amendment would change the future land-use map category from residential-9 to mixed use

for the 463.2-acres located between Sarasota Bay, El Conquistador Parkway, 75th Street and Champions Row Street.

The text amendment would change the Comp Plan's coastal and conservation elements that, if approved, would allow "large, innovative mixed-use" development meeting certain stipulations on land 200 acres or larger, located on a coastal line adjacent to navigable waterways and arterial roadways.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.

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