Herald reporter Charles Schelle's excellent coverage of the zoning change approved by the Manatee County Planning Commission for the development of Long Bar Pointe -- against the recommendation of the county's professional staff and sets a precedent for all of the county -- clarifies several complex issues.
A 300-slip marina as well as a 300-room hotel would forever commercialize a pristine peninsula that houses many species of bird, marine and plant life. The ecology of the entire area would change.
The surrounding neighborhood long ago accepted the idea of residential development with supporting commercial services, but the damage that would be done to Sarasota Bay to build a "world class" marina and hotel is unacceptable.
The risks that mixed-use development of a property where more than half its acreage is in the highest flood zone should be unacceptable to emergency responders who are already stretched thin. Who will insure such a property?
How will this affect the residents of Tidy Island and historic Cortez Village? Who will pay the impact costs to the county?
The residents of the El Conquistador neighborhood think that we already live in a "world class" community.
So do our fisherman. So do our birds, marine life and mangroves.