Long Bar Pointe redux slated for Manatee planners Thursday

skennedy@bradenton.comJanuary 16, 2014 

MANATEE -- A proposal for 200 single family homes at Long Bar Pointe is slated for review Thursday by the Manatee County Planning Commission.

Residences are planned across 61.75 acres southwest of El Conquistador Parkway and about a half-mile north of 36th Street West.

Developers Cargor Partners VIII/Long Bar Pointe LLC of Bradenton seek approval of a preliminary site plan for the first phase of the Long Bar Pointe project, facing Sarasota Bay in southwest Manatee County.

The project would be located in a vacant, flood-prone area, and would require special approvals to build in low-lying coastal high hazard and coastal evacuation zones.

The development is planned as a private, gated community with two separate gates feeding traffic to El Conquistador Parkway.

The planning commission is an advisory body. The Manatee County Commission will make the final decision on the project.

While the county planning staff approved of the proposal, it would require special environmental safeguards such as a conservation easement to be dedicated to the county for wetland/wetland buffer areas and upland preservation areas, according to county records.

No wetlands are to be impacted by the development, county records said.

Developer Carlos Beruff could not be reached for comment.

"It's a phase of a master plan. and it's residential only and it allows the project to commence," said Beruff attorney Edward Vogler II.

The developers' previous plan to build on the property, which involved changes to the Manatee County Comprehensive Plan, was eventually withdrawn following vocal local protest.

Last summer, a 13-plus hour meeting about Long Bar Pointe attracted 1,000 people to the convention center to contest the original plans for the lush property overlooking Sarasota Bay.

Beruff envisioned a "world-class project" in southwest Bradenton boasting a mixed-use development on 463.2 acres, including single and multifamily units, hotel, marina, office and commercial space and a conference center.

An opponent of the original plans said this version seemed better.

"There's not a lot we can complain about because they're doing what we asked," said former Manatee County Commissioner Jane von Hahmann. "Which was that they work within the present zoning, and they're doing that.

"That's very compatible with the area. I hear people say we should try to get that property and keep it totally empty, but they have rights that go along with that ownership."

She said she would love to see the property in public ownership, like Robinson Preserve, if there was a way to work with the developers.

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

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