On behalf of the Manatee County Community Association Inc., I attended the county commission’s June 2 Urban Corridor Plan Amendment workshop and the Planning Commission’s public hearing on this plan on June 9.
Before the Manatee County Board of Commissioners votes to send this plan to the State of Florida and various agencies, the board should consider the following:
▪ It was acknowledged that the plan is confusing and not enough clarity as to “prohibitions” vs. what is allowed under this plan.
▪ Manatee Avenue West, west of 75th Street West and Cortez Road, west of 32nd Street West, should be deleted at this time. Until areas east of these corridors and the north/south proposed corridors can be shown to be successful, the county should not impose this plan for any other areas. The county should go slow to get it right the first time.
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▪ The table of uses and zoning plan and the LDC should be coordinated to ensure that the county and the public control the character of growth in Manatee County, not the developers. Any plan should protect against incompatibility and changing the character of existing developments in the county.
▪ The “bonus” method language for developers, regarding density and intensity and the ability of developers to change zoning, does not appear to be strong enough to protect the character of our community to maintain our low-rise and low-profile county.
▪ There is not enough methods and explanations shown of how the public will be adequately informed of use, density and character changes that will occur, and how they can object and protect themselves against such changes.
▪ Finally, alleviating or reducing public input on developers’ planned developments should be the rule but the exception under either of these two proposed plans.
Ernest “Sandy” Marshall, first vice president, Federation of Manatee County Community Associations, Inc.