Lakewood Ranch Herald

Manatee's Heritage Harbour East CDD on county dissolution list so Medallion Homes can begin development

EAST MANATEE -- Heritage Harbour, Manatee County's second-largest master planned community, has filed a petition to dissolve its East Community Development District. The petition to terminate the district, according to Florida statutes, was filed with the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners which approved the creation of the district on May 12, 2008.

The 288.76-acre district, which sits on untouched vacant land, is located in the northwest corner of Heritage Harbour near Upper Manatee River Road and the Waterlefe Golf & River Club, It is currently owned by developer Medallion Homes of Sarasota.

"Medallion Homes bought the land over two years ago and has decided to develop it without a Community Development District in place," said James P. Ward, chief operating officer of JP Ward & Associates and district secretary.

What once was the 2,496-acre Harllee Ranch, Heritage Harbour began construction in 2000 by U.S. Home, before the company was acquired by Lennar Corp.

The community consists of single-family detached, semi-attached and multi-family homes in three distinct neighborhoods -- Stoney

brook, River Strand and Lighthouse Cove, surrounded by acres of lakes, preserves and other amenities, such as golf course, parks, playgrounds, clubhouses and community centers.

Officers of CDD East also informed Manatee County that the district has no outstanding financial obligations, no operation and maintenance expenses, no asset responsibilities and has never obtained bonds or other financing to construct, operate or maintain district infrastructure or improvements. In addition, the district reported that all debts have been paid or will be paid prior to dissolution.

Along with the filing of the petition on May 7, there were other formalities involved, according to R. David Jackson, attorney for the district and a counselor with Persson & Cohen, P.A. in Lakewood Ranch.

"We submitted a check in the amount of $16,000, representing the development-review fee to be paid to Manatee County for dissolution of the district," he said.

The next step in the dissolution process, according to the county, involves scheduling an upcoming public hearing to consider the petition and adoption of an ordinance allowing the commissioners to formally dissolve the district.

Kathryn Moschella, Lakewood Ranch reporter can be reached at 941-745-7010. Follow her on Twitter @MoschellaHerald.