First of all, I would like to thank the Bradenton Herald for their coverage of this development. As I review the numerous articles describing the Mr. Carlos Beruff's plan, I am reminded of the movie "The Wizard of Oz."
First the Herald informs us that the development is being resurrected, requiring a change in the county's Comprehensive Plan -- an idea opposed by the planning division manager, Doug Means, and one planning commissioner, George Mendez .
And it is now to be a world-class resort: homes, apartments, a hotel, retail, dining and a first-class marina. The turn of the cards reveals the developers donated $46,500 to county commissioners. Then the county commission erases the project from a higher level planning review by approving a large part of southwest Manatee as an urban service area.
The rest of the story is like a magician's show. Beruff claims they will never build to the capacity they are requesting; that he never wanted the comp plan changed for the whole county, just for him.
To make this piece of fiction work he claims he will not have gas service at his world-class marina; I assume his large yachts will cruise into Annie's on the intercoastal, top off the tank with 500 gallons, then proceed into the channel he has dredged through the grass flats of Sarasota Bay, and dock at the marina he has carved through the mangroves.
To complete his show, the great wizard comforts us with the fact that three of his partners have been or currently associated with Bain Capital, Mitt Romney's old vulture capital firm -- notorious for destroying companies at Bain's profit with no benefit to the community.
Manatee County has always tried to work with Hollywood as a film location. I just never thought the screenplay would be written by a local developer.
Charles Michael Dunivin