PERICO ISLAND -- Home builder Pat Neal has told neighbors of his coastal Harbor Sound development that he expects to have construction workers on site in September to start building a family compound.
Harbor Sound, a four-home development to be built partly on filled coastal wetlands, received a water resources permit from the Southwest Florida Water Management District, or Swiftmud, last week. The permit and the project have been opposed by several federal agencies as well as local environmental groups. The homes are to be built on the waterfront of Anna Maria Sound adjacent to Minto Homes's new subdivision Harbour Isle.
Neal said that while work is being done in the uplands, construction crews will take measures to protect the wetlands abutting the construction area. Neal said he has not yet secured a permit from the Corps, but expects to.
"We are working actively with the Corps to finish the permitting process with the Corps," he said.
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In a Sept. 2 memo sent to Brian Cale, Minto's vice president of land development, Neal said he expects "the construction permit to be on site, fill to be imported, and development to occur within the next few weeks."
Neal owns about 40 acres of shore lands next to Harbour Isle. He is developing about 4 acres of the land.
According to the memo, the initial work will only be performed on existing uplands. Neal plans to create more uplands by removing about an acre of mangrove wetlands, building a retaining wall around the area, then filling it.
As of last week, Neal had a fill permit pending with the Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps did not respond immediately Thursday to a request to verify the status of that permit. Neal also did not respond to a request to comment on the project.
In his memo, Neal told Cale he should feel free to share the status of Harbor Sound construction with Harbour Isle residents.
Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7027 or on Twitter@MattAtBradenton.