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Parrish subdivision vote delayed again

MANATEE -- Add another two months to the Parrish subdivision controversy that has been dragging on since 2003.

At a land use hearing Thursday, the Manatee County Commission delayed until February its decision on Shunn-Shion Chung’s request to rezone about 12 acres on 25th Street East and build 19 homes. An attorney for Chung had requested the delay after receiving word that one of the seven commissioners, Larry Bustle, would be absent.

Bustle represents the district in which Chung’s proposed Springfield subdivision would be located. Bustle did not respond to a call for comment Thursday.

But Commission Chair Carol Whitmore said she, along with the two dozen or so opponents to the project who showed up at Thursday’s land use hearing, would have appreciated being informed of Bustle’s absence prior to the meeting. The letter requesting the hearing’s delay was sent to commissioners Monday. “I worked on Springfield all weekend,” Whitmore said. “But there was nothing we could do. We have to follow the law.”

The subdivision, first proposed and voted down by the commission in 2003, has inspired objections from nearby residents who fear the new subdivision would promote sprawl, increase traffic and spoil the neighborhood’s tranquil setting. Patricia Petruff, Chung’s attorney, has said efforts to reach a compromise with frustrated residents, including offering to build only 12 units, have not worked.

In other business, the commission approved a request by Benderson Development to add 40,000 square feet to the proposed Cooper Creek Center northwest of University Parkway and Interstate 75. The development, which does not yet have a time line for construction, now tops 1 million square feet. The commission also approved extending the expiration date for the project’s development order from 2017 to 2020. The project includes 794,000 square feet of commercial development; 223,000 square feet of office space; a 250-room hotel; and 20,000 square feet of space for school use.

Christine Hawes, Herald business writer, can be reached at 941-745-7081.

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