Developers to owe nearly $60,000 for trees cleared from apartment site

Developers will owe the city of Bradenton nearly $60,000 after trees were cleared without a permit from an area near an apartment complex.

Those involved with the site of the Preserve at Riverwalk apartments at Manatee Avenue East at 12th Street East will owe the city of Bradenton $59,300 for clearing the trees without a permit.

In a Bradenton City Council meeting Wednesday, Councilman Bill Sanders said he received an email alerting him the trees in the area of the Preserve at Riverwalk apartments had been removed.

Catherine Hartley, planning and community development director for the city of Bradenton, said the agreement between the city and the site developers was that the landscaping, including the trees, along Manatee Avenue East would stay.

Hartley said the city learned from buildings in the first phase of the site development that they lost the opportunity for streetscaping and wanted to work with developers on getting trees along Manatee Avenue.

Developers edited plans to move the building back so they could keep some greenery up front. However, after changing their plans, the trees were removed, Hartley said.

No permit was filed to bring down the trees, according to Hartley. Therefore, it’s unclear who cleared them.

A letter on the fine will be sent with an after-the-fact tree permit, which was supposed to be filed Thursday, Hartley said in an email to the Bradenton Herald. The engineering firm for the project, ZNS Engineering, was notified of the fine Thursday.

Ed Vogler, attorney representing the site’s developers, which includes NDC Construction, was not available for comment Friday.

The second phase of construction at the Preserve at Riverwalk is expected to begin soon.