The residents who have lived near Slaughter Drain for decades know one thing is for certain: when it rains, it floods. The creek, often in need of dredging, runs to the east of Erie Court in Parrish before emptying into the Manatee River.
The council planning commission Thursday voted 4-1 to recommend the county commission OK The Grove at Grand Oak Preserve, a proposed 83-home development that Slaughter Drain would slice through. Planning Commission Chair Bill Conerly recused himself and Commissioner David Roth dissented.
“I’m afraid with all this filling in, we will flood,” said Joan Smith, who has lived in the area for 42 years. “We will become a big retention pond.”
As the surrounding area slowly becomes subdivisions, longtime residents of larger parcels are concerned the infill project will push stormwater to their land, as the area is already known for having “historically flooded in the past,” said TomGerstenberger, the county’s stormwater engineering division manager. He advised that if residents needed county staff to clear the creek, they should contact the Citizen Action Center at 941-742-5800.
As part of the proposal, 31 acres would be rezoned. A special approval is needed because the site is in a 25-year floodplain.
Planning Commissioner Timothy Rhodes said he thought that with a stormwater system, the project could alleviate the flooding problem.
“I’m voting for the project with the hope that something is going to help you,” he said.
Don Neu, the agent for the applicant, said he believed that the stormwater system would decrease the amount of water runoff and improve the water quality.
“We have to prove no adverse impacts upstream or downstream,” he said.
The developer intends to place five stormwater retention ponds on the site totaling nearly 190,000 square feet. But the nearly 10 residents, one who said they had flooded four times in the past year, needed more convincing that this project wouldn’t harm their properties.
“You’re creating our property into a retention pond, and we don’t appreciate that,” said Peter Newcombe, who lives just north of the property.
Also on Thursday, the planning commission supported:
▪ A rezone of 3.2 acres to general commercial south of the AMC Bradenton 20 movie theater on State Road 70.
▪ A preliminary site plan for a 4,540 square-foot commercial facility on the northeast corner of the intersection at State Road 64 and Upper Manatee River Road.
▪ A preliminary site plan for a 105-bed assisted living facility off of 59th Street West.
▪ A revision to the general development plan for the Southwest Water Reclamation Facility on 65th Street West to allow for replacements and an expansion.