Michael Alligood has lived off Bayshore Road his entire life. That’s where his parents lived, where he was born and where his children were raised. It is home.
So the 62-year-old is fighting a request to bring heavy manufacturing to the property adjacent to the house where he’s lived for the past 38 years.
“This is home to me,” he said. “It’s my tribal land. I just feel like, from a statement that was made to me, basically if I didn’t like it to leave — and I don’t want to do that. This is my home. I’m peaceful here and I enjoy this area and I don’t need anything coming in and disrupting our lifestyle.”
A 12.71-acre property that abuts Alligood’s property on three sides could be rezoned from suburban agriculture to heavy manufacturing (HM).
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“The long-term vision is the residential component in this area will be converting or evolving into a more industrial area,” said Branden Roe, a Manatee County planner.
But six generations of Alligoods have called Manatee County — particularly this stretch along Bayshore Road near Rubonia — home.
“It’s quiet,” said 60-year-old Trish Alligood, Michael’s wife. “You can ride your bikes and see nature. I don’t know. It’s not an industrial park and that’s what we don’t want.”
Nearly 200 Manatee County residents have signed a petition against the request, according to Michael Alligood, noting that it’s not just him concerned as it would affect a number of neighbors.
“Any citizen in Manatee County has a right to say that’s not right what is going on here,” he said. “They should have a right to say that’s not right for me whether they live next door or not. It’s the community that is up in arms about the situation.”
On Thursday, Manatee County Commission will consider the rezone request to heavy manufacturing in the entrance overlay during the land use meeting in the first-floor commission chambers. Applicants William and Heidi Enneking are requesting that the 12.71 acres, which is located on the east side of Bayshore Road and on the north side of 77th Avenue East, be rezoned.
The property, which is currently vacant, is in the Industrial-Heavy Future Land Use Category, a classification “designated for areas established for a range of heavy and light industrial and other employment uses,” according to the county’s staff report.
“The intent is to prohibit residential development from these areas to avoid adverse impacts on such uses and to eliminate the intrusion of residential uses in an industrial area,” the staff report reads. “The range of potential uses include, but are not limited to: heavy and light industrial uses, offices, research/corporate uses, warehouse/distribution uses, intensive commercial and wholesale commercial uses.”
The property is for sale; the exact use of the property should the rezone request be approved is unknown.
This is my home. I’m peaceful here and I enjoy this area and I don’t need anything coming in and disrupting our lifestyle.
Michael Alligood, Manatee County resident
“The limitation of development really puts us in a position where we kind of have to ask for HM,” Bob Schmitt, who represents the applicant, said during the December planning commission meeting, where commissioners recommended approval. “We do not have a user. The property is being marked but we don’t know who is going to come along. All we do know is nobody will buy it with A-1 zoning on it, so the obvious solution to this in our estimation was to ask for zoning that is consistent with the future land-use designation.”
This uncertainty of what could come if the property is rezoned to heavy manufacturing scares the Alligoods.
“It’s the type of business that the HM rezone would allow,” Michael Alligood said. “The possibility of what would be coming in here by the county’s definition is what is so upsetting to me and not knowing what would come. It’s the possibility. It’s the unknown factor that is really bothersome.”
Trish Alligood added: “It’s the smells. It could be a chemical type business that comes in. We have well water. We wouldn’t want that to be contaminated, so it’s just the unknown.”
But there is no other potential for this property since they can’t put residential uses on the property, according to Schmitt.
“There is a lack of heavy manufacturing zoning in Manatee County,” he said, adding that the property to the south of the property in question is already zoned heavy manufacturing.
The Alligoods acknowledge that with the existing future land use designation it limits what the property can be rezoned, but they’re hoping that can be changed.
“It’s time for the county to step up to the plate,” Trish Alligood said. “We live here, for pete’s sake. There’s plenty of other land businesses can buy.”
Michael Alligood is trying to remain optimistic.
“I have to try all I can to remedy the situation that comes out the best to all parties involved,” he said.
His wife added: “We are hoping for the Rubonia area, and we are outside the Rubonia area, that they do what’s right.”