BRADENTON -- A request by property owner Saul Lapidus for the city to annex more than 9 acres of property at 64th Street Court East caused a hiccup in the relationship between Bradenton and Manatee County last November.
The request sparked a rare objection at a meeting of the Joint Planning Commission, which had representatives from Bradenton, Palmetto, Anna Maria Island, Manatee County and the Manatee County School District.
Despite county objections to a rezone request from residential-3 to suburban commercial corridor, because there is little known about the property owner's intent for the land, the city didn't legally need county permission and went forward with the annexation Wednesday.
The JPC came into existence to ensure any annexation requests did not hinder any other entity. The dispute left the JPC future in question.
A meeting about the validity of the accord was supposed to take place but never did.
JPC Chairman and Bradenton Vice Mayor Gene Gallo said no one contacted him about the discussion.
"In fact, we have two annexation requests coming up and they said they didn't have a problem with them and didn't need a meeting," he said.
Lapidus is represented by Allison Gause. Bob Gause said the process began about a year ago.
"The question has come up on what kind of uses there are," said Gause, who outlined uses under suburban commercial corridor to include construction services, automotive related businesses, medical office park, nursing home, dry cleaner and more.
Gause said the property owner has not yet determined the property use -- only that it is not suitable for residential -- hence his request to be annexed and change the zoning.
Gause said most uses would have to come back to the Bradenton City Council for approval after being vetted by city staff anyway.
When county officials objected to the annexation, they cited a concern about a residential zoning south of the property.
Gallo said he could only find one house and mostly businesses in what the county said is a residential area.
Gause said the county allows home-based businesses, which includes two plumbing companies in the area.
The council voted unanimously to annex the property with the stipulation the owner will pay the city for any utilities extended to the property from about 50 acres of existing city land to the west that the city annexed in 2008.
The rezoning request and comprehensive plan amendment request will be heard at the city's Feb. 10 meeting, but the land is now part of the city of Bradenton.
Mark Young, Herald urban affairs reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041 or follow him on Twitter @urbanmark2014.