As one of the largest landowners in Manatee County, Manatee County government has made it easier for the public to know which county-owned parcels could be for sale.
A GIS story map on the county’s website now highlights the potential surplus properties in the county, showing where the parcel is located, the size and the assessed value.
“This is a one-stop shop,” said Tim Cristello with the county’s property acquisition division.
But before the approximately 75 parcels currently on the GIS map can officially be designated as surplus, the county has to first deem that it has no need for the parcel in the future and then the county commission has to vote to declare it surplus, according to Charlie Bishop, the county’s property management director.
“There are going to be people who need these properties,” Bishop said.
A resident has already contacted the county about three of the parcels, according to Bishop.
“The county doesn’t want surplus property,” he said. “We want to put them on the tax roll and put to good use unless identified for a potential project.”
Ten of the properties are currently being reviewed by county departments to ensure they are not needed for a future project. After the review and the commission’s approval, there will be a surplus category created on the GIS map with a different colored flagged designation.
“It kind of brings everything together to one link you can go to,” said Lea Vargas, a GIS intern with the property management department who created the map.
Prior to beginning the process of developing the GIS map, the county “never really had a grasp of where all properties were located,” Bishop said of the county’s 954 total parcels.
“It has been years in the making,” he added.
When looking at a potential surplus property, the commission district and current zoning code are also listed so the interested party will know what could be built on the site.
“It is ongoing process,” Vargas said of the GIS map. “We are going to be taking some properties out.”
A disclaimer on the map states that “these properties are potential surplus and must be approved by the county departments, administrators and the Board of County Commissioners prior to approval. They may be withdrawn at any time without notice.”
While the assessed values of the parcels are included as a starting point, appraisals have not been performed on any of the properties, according to Bishop.
“These are burdens to us,” he said of the potential surplus parcels.
The sale of the potential surplus parcels could be a revenue generator for the county, Bishop said, adding that they have to first identify how they purchased or acquired the property to determine which fund the money would go back in.
If a nonprofit, especially Manatee County Habitat for Humanity, has a need and this will satisfy that need, Bishop said he hopes they will look at the parcels.
The county is looking at five parcels right now to declare as surplus properties for affordable housing, he added.
“We are working with neighborhood services if any property deemed for affordable or workforce housing,” he said.