Longbar Pointe hearing postponed

Long Bar Pointe attorney asking to extend time to receive evidence from Manatee County

cschelle@bradenton.comMarch 18, 2014 

MANATEE -- An administrative hearing scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday concerning Long Bar Pointe's removal from a county-initiated Urban Service Area was postponed.

Ed Vogler, attorney for Long Bar Pointe, filed a motion for continuance Monday with Manatee County still trying to produce requested emails, The latest batch arrived Monday morning, according to the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings. A new hearing date has not been announced.

The county is also refusing to turn over some emails officials say are privileged because they include litigation advice, theory, conclusion, direction or "mental impression," in accordance with state statute Section 119.071(1)(d)(1).

Vogler requested the evidence-discovery deadline be extended.

The case stems from a county-initiated creation of an Urban Service Area to provide exemptions from certain state environmental review for large-scale developments. This exemption exists in Bradenton and many jurisdictions around the state based on the state- and county-held theory local review is just as good as state review.

After the county introduced the boundaries last year, the final version before the commissioners Nov. 7 removed Long Bar Pointe from them.

Long Bar Pointe is a proposed 463-home development along Sarasota Bay and El Conquistador with plans for homes, high-end hotel, conference center and office and retail. The developers are Carlos Beruff and Larry Lieberman.

The hearing's ruling could become moot if Florida Senate Bill 372 passes, which would change state population density requirements exempting all DRI projects in Manatee County along with neighboring Sarasota County and five other counties. The bill, filed by state Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, was introduced March 4 in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Charles Schelle, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter@ImYourChuck.

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