MANATEE -- A 278-unit Lakewood Ranch project called Eagle Trace Subdivision won tentative approval Thursday from the Manatee County Planning Commission.
The commission OK'd a rezoning and preliminary site plan request to add 43.53 acres and 95 units for a total of 104.66 acres and 278 units.
The planned development is at State Road 64 and Pope Road.
Neal Communities plans call for 164 single family detached units and 114 single family semi-detached units.
The surrounding area is transitioning from suburban-agriculture uses to single family residential development, said planner Shelley Hamilton.
She noted it will feature "significantly smaller lots" than have been proposed in the surrounding area.
Eventually, there will be a new alignment of Pope Road as the development takes shape, but it will be renamed, officials said.
The developer will be responsible for construction of part of the new, unnamed road, which will connect existing Pope Road to the project entrance, county documents said.
The property includes 9.033 acres of wetlands, but only 1.29 acres will be affected by the development, county documents said.
The site is heavily treed, with approximately 6 acres of mixed hardwoods. The developer has indicated about 85 percent of the habitat, or 5.1 acres, will be preserved through a conservation easement, county records said.
The planning commission is an advisory body, so the project must still win final approval from the Manatee County Commission.
Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.