Manatee County proposed land-use changes flawed

April 27, 2014 

Major flaws and problems are quickly surfacing from the fast-track movement by special interests to shape the future growth of our county to revising our local land development code, expanding redevelopment agencies in our southwest sector and Sen. Bill Galvano's bill to virtually eliminate state oversight of large developments of regional impact. Some of these major flaws and problems are:

• Overloading existing infrastructure of our urban municipalities and suburban areas with large-scale new residential and business developments without first expanding or repairing infrastructure.

• Fail to require strict concurrency by new development before approval -- by requiring documentation that such new growth is safely sustainable for present and future residents, and that any new growth could be paid for by such new development instead of existing residents.

• Instead of allowing the present proposed Land Development Code revision to make new development easier and faster for the benefit of special interests, the quality of life and character of our community desired by our existing residents should be the first criteria for approval of development.

• No serious consideration is being given to the safety and survival of our present and future residents and business when we experience storms, flooding and hurricanes and evacuation plans, if necessary.

The Federation of Manatee County Community Associations sent committee members to workshops conducted by our country commissioners to review code changes. It was evident that the consultant and staff were supporting significant "game-changing" revisions not supported by our committee.

The commissioners should require the consultant and staff to publicize for the commissioners and the public a simple explanation of the significant and controversial revisions of this code, as we suggested in our letter to them Dec. 13, 2013.

The workshop unfortunately failed to properly accomplish such simple clarification. Until this is done, no revisions should be approved by the commissioners.

Ernest S. Marshall, P.A.

Bradenton

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