Developer Carlos Beruff’s proposed Aqua by the Bay project will go back before both the planning commission and county commission in August.
The proposed development is scheduled to go before the planning commission on Aug. 10 and the county commission on Aug. 16.
“It is still tentative,” said Nicole Knapp, Manatee County’s planning section manager.
The planning commission hearing was originally scheduled for July 13, but the county’s environmental planning division manager, Joel Christian, has departed. Without Christian, the hearing had to be rescheduled to allow the county to conduct an environmental review of the proposal, Knapp said.
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“We had to find another expert that could support staff,” Knapp said.
Last week, the county commission meeting was also briefly rescheduled to Sept. 28 before it was moved back to the original date of Aug. 16.
“We put it back to the date where it was originally planned,” Knapp said.
Aqua by the Bay is Beruff’s latest proposal to develop 529 acres between El Conquistador Parkway and Sarasota Bay, just to the south of 53rd Avenue West.
This will be the second time the proposed development goes before the planning and county commissions. County commissioners referred the controversial development back to the planning commission on May 4 because they wanted more information about how many buildings would exceed the maximum height of 35 feet allowed.
A June 7 document from the development team to Manatee County indicates that there would be 16 buildings exceeding the county’s maximum height of 35 feet allowed.
“Per our meeting with staff on June 2, 2017, the applicant has committed to a maximum of four 145’ tall buildings and twelve 95’ tall buildings,” according to the document. “The number of buildings with a height between 36’ and 95’ will be determined by the market.”
Beruff and the project team have declined the Bradenton Herald’s requests for comment outside of public hearings.
Two sentences in the original staff report were misinterpreted from the applicant’s proposal: “Two multi-story buildings, with heights greater than 35 feet, for multi-family residents are proposed,” page 7 of the staff report reads. “One building is 75 feet tall and five stories; the other building is 145 feet tall and thirteen stories (10 stories over parking).”
“We have two building types,” Ed Vogler, the attorney representing developer Beruff, clarified during the May 4 meeting. “I’ve not read it to be two buildings, and I thought that would be a wrong impression. ... We do not know how many buildings. That is subject to later designs.”