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Manatee planners postpone action on wooded area development

A proposed infill development located in the woods behind Braden Woods will now go before the planning commission in August. A group of East Manatee residents are hoping to see this piece of property be turned into conservation land.
A proposed infill development located in the woods behind Braden Woods will now go before the planning commission in August. A group of East Manatee residents are hoping to see this piece of property be turned into conservation land. ttompkins@bradenton.com

Braden Woods and East Manatee residents pleading for a wooded area to be conserved will have to make their case at a later date.

At the beginning of Thursday’s meeting, the Manatee County Planning Commission was told the applicant of a proposed subdivision wanted to have discussion of the item delayed.

“We are requesting to be continued to Aug. 11 so that we have more time to prepare,” Rachel Layton with ZNS Engineering said Thursday.

Myara Subdivision would include up to 32 houses on about 33 acres. The property owner is ESME I LLC of Venice. The development, which would be built on the north bank of the Braden River east of Interstate 75, is for the rezone from residential single family — one dwelling unit per acre — to planned development residential with a preliminary site plan. Pat Neal’s Neal Communities would be the developer.

County staff has recommended denial of the rezone request and preliminary site plan, according to the staff report.

Only 18.7 acres of the property would be developable, which Braden Woods residents say is inconsistent with the surrounding area. Braden Woods is a subdivision of about 500 homes built in the late 1980s at a density of about one home per acre.

About 3,000 people from throughout Manatee County have signed two petitions — one asking the commission to deny the rezone request, and the other to preserve the land as a nature preserve. Other concerns include the effect on the Braden River and the overall quality of life for the people and wildlife. In January, a website called keepwoods.com was started.

The Keep Woods plans to ask the commission to direct county staff to look into buying the property to turn it into conservation land.

Claire Aronson: 941-745-7024, @Claire_Aronson

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