MANATEE -- An exclusive residential community adjacent to popular Robinson Preserve won accolades and approval Thursday from the Manatee County Commission.
"I've really enjoyed working with the Robinson family and the (county) natural resources staff to do this subdivision," said John Neal, representing John Neal Homes Inc. "I'm excited to tell you many people are interested, and are calling me on the phone."
The development is slated for vacant property just west of 99th Street Northwest and south of Ninth Avenue Northwest, north of Manatee Avenue and Palma Sola Bay.
Neal teamed with Robinson Farms Inc.'s president, William C. Robinson, on the project.
Neal described his proposal for 50 single family homes on just more than 50 acres as cutting edge, since it is nestled within the future extension of the Robinson Preserve, and is designed to complement the location.
With low density and 48 percent open space, it will feature "rain gardens" to manage water and will be populated with native vegetation similar to the natural beauties that grace Robinson Preserve.
Instead of lakes in the subdivision, there will be estuaries designed to fit seamlessly into the existing park, said Neal, adding, "I anticipate it will be very beautiful."
"The vision for this really came from the Robinson family, the same people that provided this great park facility," he said of nearby Robinson Preserve.
The audience included members of the Robinson family.
The commission voted 6-0 in favor of the project, with Commissioner Vanessa Baugh absent due to a business trip to Tallahassee.
"It looks like a great project, low impact, we always want to go that way," said Commissioner John Chappie.
"I'm really excited about it," said Commissioner Robin DiSabatino.
After the meeting, Will Robinson said, "We are thrilled with the decision today, and look forward to being affiliated with a special place in Northwest Bradenton."
Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter@sarawrites.