BRADENTON -- David Opland fears his Village Green neighborhood will be overrun with up to 300 more cars in a few years and that its upper-class single-family identity will be diminished by an influx of duplexes.
Developer Pat Neal says instead Opland and his neighbors will find their subdivision enhanced with attractive landscaping, careful planning that preserves wildlife and natural vegetation and “paired villas” that hold their value.
The city Planning Commission went with the latter likelihood Wednesday in unanimously approving Neal’s revised plan for The Seasons at Village Green near 18th Avenue West and 75th Street West. The new plan replaces Neal’s original proposal for 142 single-family homes with 160 duplexes or “paired villas,” each of which has parking space for up to four cars.
In addition to Opland’s concerns, opponents to the plan said that three or four years of construction would further devalue their homes, which have already taken a hit because of the economic recession and the abandonment of a golf course in the neighborhood.
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Most of the dozen community members who addressed the amended plan at Wednesday’s commission meeting supported Neal’s plan to build on the executive golf course in Village Green.
But even some of those who supported the plan had concerns about some of its qualities, including moving high-tension electric wires within 50 feet of private properties.
Neal assured the residents that the transplanted high-tension wires would be camouflaged with attractive landscaping and provided pictures of other developments to illustrate how Neal Communities has handled such situations in its other developments.
The amended plan now goes before the City Council at its June 8 meeting. Neal told the planning commission he hopes to begin construction this fall.