The Manatee County Comprehensive Plan has a lot of good objectives and policies that make it clear that Aqua by the Bay should not be approved.
Objective: 2.3.3: Floodplain Management — Direct development away from areas subject to flooding to reduce risks to life and property and to minimize costs to county residents for replacing damaged infrastructure.
Using landfill and seawalls to raise the land vertically does not really remove the area from the flood zone. Commissioners, Mother Nature just showed us that we need to stay out of the floodplain. Holly Clouse’s letter to the editor on Sept. 1 nailed this issue.
There are multiple other aspects of this development that go against objectives and policies in the Manatee County Comprehensive plan including Objective 4.1.1: Sea grass Protection, Policy 18.104.22.168: Minimize the alteration of… adjacent wetlands, Policy 22.214.171.124: Prohibit the construction of new seawalls, Goal 2.8: Reduction of land uses which are inconsistent with community character… and more.
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Letting developers push us into foolish developments is ultimately wrong and each county commissioner voting to approve Aqua by the Bay will be morally responsible for the eventual future havoc in our community. Here is a timely link to a well written Op-Ed regarding Houston’s mistakes and how to avoid continuing to make those types of mistakes.