Letter of the Month: June

July 6, 2014 

Only Manatee County voters can slow over development

Several years ago I attended a growth management seminar at the Manatee County convention center, expecting a forum on balancing growth with concerns for the environment and for current residents.

We nondevelopment folks soon realized we were merely eavesdroppers at a clinic for developing the most land with the least investment.

People who want to protect our environment are not necessarily anti-development and certainly not anti-jobs. To be constantly portrayed that way is insulting and polarizing.

I admit that I cannot build a house or a mall. I need developers.

Why cannot developers and their "partners" in the Tampa Bay/Manatee area admit that over development is a threat to our already fragile environment and infrastructure and to the quality of life that residents have worked hard to earn. Over development has become a beast that needs to feed itself at all costs.

Check out the following online: Long Bar Pointe, Glen Creek; Urban Land Institute Report (ULI Manatee pdf, March 17-22); Lake Flores Project (the Herald, June 12-15, 2014); Benderson Park; IMG, Bradenton as the "sports training capital of the world;" University Town Center ("inherited" congestion, the Herald, June 13, 2014).

David Brooks of the New York Times ("New right -- leading to stagnant mobility," the Herald, June 12, 2014) spotlights, I think, why the voices of those objecting to over development are typically silenced and belittled: "clusters of networked power ... create self-serving arrangements for themselves."

Those of us "outside the clusters" do have a power. We can vote.

Nancy R. Deal

Holmes Beach

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