Cheers to Manatee County commissioners for refusing to knuckle under to the Long Bar Pointe developers and reverse their decision to basically reject the massive waterfront project proposal.
Last week's repudiation of the developers' request, on the county attorney's advice, could set the stage for more legal proceedings in this high-stakes battle.
The 463-acre Long Bar Pointe project stands as the biggest development fight in recent history, perhaps ever.
More than 1,000 people crowded the August 2013 public hearing at the Bradenton Area Convention Center in the heated dispute over the proposal from Medallion Home's Carlos Beruff and Barrington Group's Larry Lieberman.
The commission turned down their request for a text amendment to the county's Comprehensive Plan that would have allowed the destruction of sea grass along the shoreline.
The two developers hired an eminent domain attorney to serve the county with a claim for damages under the Bert J. Harris Private Property Rights Protection Act. The claim asserts the commission decision caused a fair-market value property loss of $18 million.
The claim looked like a cudgel intended to beat commissioners into submission.
The unanimous board's reply to the request to reconsider its decision read straight to the point: "No changes to the action of the government entity."
That will hearten the hundreds of project opponents.
Now we'll see if the developers truly believe their case is strong enough to win in court and pursue litigation.
Obviously, commissioners believe it is not.