EAST MANATEE -- Developer Carlos Beruff wants to nearly double the size of a Heritage Harbour development he has planned.
Beruff is seeking a change to the general development plan to build 1,400 housing units, including an assisted living facility, on the 295-acre Moore's Dairy Farm property. That is an increase from the 735 housing units previously approved.
Four types of housing are envisioned, including single family, paired villas, quadplexes, and apartments. Also planned is a small amount of commercial, and a realignment of Port Harbour Parkway, Beruff said Wednesday.
"The growth has been phenomenal," said Duane Moore of changes at Heritage Harbour and along Upper Manatee River Road.
Moore sold the property to Heritage Harbour Development for $8.66 million in January 2005.
Moore's Dairy Farm is bordered on the north by Waterlefe, on the west by Heritage Harbour, and on the south by Greenfield Plantation. Upper Manatee River Road and agriculturally zoned property run along its eastern flank.
Five years after Moore sold the property, once home to as many as 1,200 dairy cattle, it went into foreclosure, temporarily forestalling development plans.
Now, Beruff and his Upper Manatee 288 and Manatee Land Investors are seeking to change the development plan.
Beruff said he doesn't believe that the changes he is proposing would cause Heritage Harbour, Manatee County's second-largest master planned community, to exceed its 5,000-home cap.
"When Lennar is finished, they won't have near the 5,000 units," Beruff said Wednesday.
Manatee County planning staff have until Oct. 14 to complete their comments on the requested change, and then it would have to pass muster before the Manatee County Planning Commission and the Manatee County Commission.
If the economy doesn't tank, and Beruff gets the approvals he needs, construction of new homes at Moore's Dairy Farm could start by the fourth quarter of 2017, he said.
He decided to start seeking approvals because of improvements to Upper Manatee Road being made in conjunction with construction of the Fort Hamer Bridge.
Beruff said it makes more sense to coordinate connection of his development to Upper Manatee Road now, rather than after fact, when a portion of the new road might have to be torn up to accommodate his neighborhood.
Eugene and Val Moore were working at their food truck across the street from the old dairy Wednesday afternoon.
"I think it's great. Maybe I'll have some place to go when I get old," said Eugene Moore, 70.
"I am a member of the Moore family and I was raised over there. In the old days it was so quiet out here that you could just about tell what neighbor was coming down the street by the sound of their car," he said.
In the heyday of Moore's Dairy Farm, there were more than two dozen dairies in Manatee and Sarasota counties. Now there are so few they can be counted on one hand.
Eugene Moore was philosophical about the changing landscape.
"It's progress. It's just time," he said.
James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee reporter, can be contacted at 941-745-7053 or on Twitter @jajones1.