Builders Seek Ability to Develop More Coastal Areas

Green represents Coastal High Hazzard Areas
Green represents Coastal High Hazzard Areas
Staff Report
BRADENTON — At its April 21 land use meeting, the Manatee County Commission will take up its Peril of Flood ordinance. Developers are asking the county to amend its Comprehensive Plan to allow for the construction of seawalls and the use of fill to elevate shoreline property so that it would no longer be in the coastal high hazard zone.

In 2015, the Florida Legislature passed a statute titled "Peril of Flood," specifying new requirements for the coastal management element of comprehensive land use plans related to coastal flooding and the impacts of sea-level rise, with numerous references for the protection of the natural shoreline, preserving natural habitats, and a requirement of buffers larger than 50 feet.

In a March 16 letter to BOCC Chair Kevin Van Ostenbridge and Manatee County Administrator Scott Hopes  (click to view), Vogler, acting "on behalf of Medallion Homes, Neal Communities, and other interested and affected landowners and developers," contended that Manatee County's current statute was not in compliance with state law and recommended that the county and its board:

1. Adopt specific plan policies that provide, in fact, principles, strategies, and engineering solutions as required by the law. These could include the following: 

a. Allow fill material to be added to coastal real property in an effort to elevate the  topography of the real property and result in the removal of coastal real property from flood zone designations  established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 

b. Allow the construction of walls and other revetments to support the placement of fill  material on coastal real property in an effort to elevate the topography of the real property and result in the removal of coastal real property from flood zone designations established by the Federal Emergency  Management Agency. 

c. Require new development and redevelopment to employ site development techniques that  reduce flood losses and claims made under flood insurance policies, including structural and non-structural site  development techniques, such as grading of real property and fill materials added to the real property, or use of  appropriate materials such as walls and revetments to withstand inundation, minimizing flood damage to  structures through flood-proofing techniques and strategies. 

2. Defer adoption and direct your staff and consultants to develop and present for consideration and public comment additional principles, strategies, and engineering solutions that comply with the law. We are aware of no attempt to do so as of this writing and compliance with the law is not optional.

The meeting is scheduled for 1:30:00 p.m. in the commission chambers. To submit public comment on the item, click here.

Reader Comments
Tom R
APR 19, 2022  •  Combine this with the DeSantis bill signed into law (CS/CS/CS/HB 337: Impact Fees) and we have a a frre-for-all. "The law, which took effect immediately upon DeSantis’ signature, prevents local governments from increasing impact fees more than once every four years and limits the increases to 50%. Increases between 25% and 50% would have to be spread over four years. Smaller increases would be phased in over two years. The law includes a provision that retroactively limits impact-fee increases made since Jan. 1, 2021. The changes will make it “virtually impossible for local governments to require that new development pays its own way,” 1000 Friends of Florida said in an email to supporters on Thursday. “Existing residents will shoulder even more of the costs associated with new development through raised taxes, declining roads, parks and other public infrastructure, or both,” the email said.
APR 18, 2022  •  ...and what happens to properties already in existence when the SURROUNDING property is "elevated". HK well done, you have asked the proverbial question.
APR 17, 2022  •  Here we go again. Isn’t it enough that Beruff and the rest of the developers have gotten away with the destruction they’ve done to this point? The only way we are going to keep this from continuing is to vote for commissioners who are more concerned with preserving Florida’s coastal habitat than earning the support of big developers.
Ruth Lawler
APR 17, 2022  •  Florida Statutes "Coastal Management" clearly states , under F.S 163.3178(1), "The purpose of the Coastal Management Element is to restrict development activities that may damage or destroy coastal resources..." The section Vogler's letter uses is cherry picked and taken out of context from the Florida Statutes, the section dealing with AFTER the occurrence of natural disasters, and is directly contrary to the overall intent of the Coastal Management Statute. In fact, within the Florida Statute Policy, it states "Construction of new seawalls and repair and reconstruction of existing seawalls is prohibited except as permitted by federal and state regulations." Please contact the Board of County Commissioners to say NO to this insane and destructive request!!!
APR 17, 2022  •  "Reduce flood losses and claims made under flood insurance policies" Part of there request. Solution, don't build on coast line close to water.
APR 17, 2022  •  Just say NO!
APR 17, 2022  •  What could possibly go wrong?¿