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Del Webb at Lakewood Ranch is a Go

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BRADENTON -- At Thursday's BOCC Land Use Meeting, commissioners showed their flexibility to modify their General Development Plan and Land Development Code by using approvals on special request. Del Webb at Lakewood Ranch, may be changing the way a development gets built.

It was just one month ago that Caleb Grimes, attorney for the applicant, went before the Manatee Planning Commission to ask their recommendation for a long list of special requests to build a 1,300 single-residence development off SR 70, on a 645-acre parcel in Lakewood Ranch.

Two of the special requests were because the project is partially located within the Watershed Overlay District, and the gross residential density exceeds the one dwelling unit per-acre that the code suggests. The proposed gross density is 2.02. 

The applicant also requested a street formula change (reducing the lanes to 11 ft. width) and alternative street drains. The Miami- style street drains take the height out of the curb and offer a smoother line to the road. 

Specific approval for a Land Development Code (LDC) were requested as well. The applicant requested a smaller-caliber tree diameter; and the allowance of only one canopy tree per resident instead of one every 50 feet along the right-of-way, as the LDC suggests.

The LDC required buffer was modified and a 0.24 acre wetland will be impacted to provide a inter-neighborhood tie.

Another request by the applicant was to not build a sidewalk along S.R. 70, because there is no other sidewalk to connect to. The applicant is offering a percentage of the cost to be donated to the county's sidewalk fund.

SR 70 is expected to expand to four lanes in years to come, and another sidewalk would be included in SR 70 projects. 

Grimes said that the project is proposed to be constructed in phases, the first beginning in 2014, to a build-out in 2015. Grimes added that he expects the complete build-out to be within 10 years. 

The project is said to be a "gated, private-road adult community." More frequently, project codes are being modified to build a particular design rather than the design fitting the codes.  

Commissioners voted to approve 6 - 0 with Commissioner Whitmore absent.

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