State, local agencies weighing in on Long Bar Pointe

cschelle@bradenton.comSeptember 20, 2013 

MANATEE -- State and local agencies are analyzing and making comments on a comprehensive map amendment to allow Long Bar Pointe to become a mixed-use development.

Manatee County is awaiting responses from multiple agencies, with all response expected by the end of September, said county planner Shelley Hamilton, who is overseeing the county review of Long Bar Pointe.

The Department of Economic Opportunity was the latest agency to respond to the county Thursday without finding any issue with the proposed map amendment. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission requested more time to respond, Hamilton said.

The 463-acre propertybetween El Conquistador Parkway and Sarasota Bay considered for the map amendment is

envisioned by developers Larry Lieberman andCarlos Beruff for a waterfront resort with a hotel, conference center, homes, office and retail space.

Language mentioning a marina/boat basin was removed from the amendment at the request of the developers.

A parcel owned by the developers zoned residential-6 was not part of the map amendment request, but would be affected by the countywide text amendment.

A site plan has yet to be submitted for Long Bar Pointe.

The land is already approved for 258 homes and 150,000 square feet of neighborhood retail space so developers could start construction.

Manatee County Commissioners voted 4-3 in favor of the amendment at a marathon meeting in August to change land use for Long Bar Pointe from residential-9 to mixed use.

The transmittal is sent to several state and local agencies for comment.

The county also solicited comments from regional agencies, Sarasota County government and barrier island towns from Long-boat Key north to Anna Maria.

A controversial countywide text amendment opening up development in sensitive waterfront lands was rejected and will not be reviewed by the state.

The county must advertise a second public hearing within 180 days after receiving agency comments before it moves to adopt the map amendment.

The first chance Long Bar Pointe could appear on an agenda is December, Hamilton said. County staff would meet with the county attorney to go through comments and prepare a staff report for commissioners, she said.

The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council expressed concern about potential development in seagrass beds, Hamilton said, which is the same concern county staff held.

"We understand thatand will monitor that," Hamilton said. "We have no understanding of it yet of what they would be proposing, if anything, on seagrass beds."

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