The withdrawal of the map amendment to the future land use map for the Long Bar Pointe property was a surprising but welcome Christmas gift not only for the citizens of Manatee County but for Sarasota Bay and all its creature inhabitants.
Apparently, the market saw what the residents could only too readily see -- that there is no market for a misplaced five star-hotel and conference center at the edge of the water far away from the center of highways and transit accessibility/visibility or urban infrastructure and supportive services.
The county needs to rethink the very idea of piling up development next to our most fragile, precious and attractive natural resources, which are really the true engines of our tourist and commercial fishing industries.
However, the citizens are still faced with the prospect of over-development between the residentially-zoned LBP and the mixed-use land use for the Manatee farms properties covering hundreds and hundreds of acres. The county needs a better way of doing planning that is neighborhood or sub-area based and is descriptive of the demographic, physical and environmental conditions of a community and prescriptive of what is best suited for particular areas of Manatee County.
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Isn't is best to work with the neighborhoods on a planning process from the beginning rather than conduct that process before the commission in one marathon session at a quasi-judicial hearing?