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Long Bar Pointe Can't Find Fast Track


BRADENTON -- At Thursday's BOCC land use meeting, developers Carlos Beruff and Larry Leiberman ran into another unintended speed-bump, forcing them to return to the dais. The two are seeking approval for the first preliminary site plan to build the most contested development in Manatee County's history; however, they only left with a rain check.

The politically connected Beruff is used to leaving the chambers with a stamp-of-approval, and might have received one had it not been for some errant verbiage and incorrect information in the public notice advertising the item.

In order for the approval process to be legitimate, the public must be informed and have the opportunity to respond to their elected officials. If the information is wrong, decisions made based on that information would be contestable. Therefore, commissioners had no choice but to vote to continue the meeting until after the proper information is advertised correctly.

The stories on this development are plenty, and the opposition is considerable. The project, which has been a long time in the making and suffered a considerable delay when the real estate market dried up, last came before the county commission last summer, when the developers were seeking major changes to the future land use maps that would have provided for such things as a hotel and marina in addition to the thousands of homes already slated.

That amendment request passed, with references to the marina removed, but when it came back from the state and was set to go before the board for a final vote in January, the developers pulled the request without explanation. Thursday's vote was for a preliminary site plan (pictured below) for the first portion of the approved project that was to be built.

Barbara Angelucci, a participant in one of several groups organized in opposition to the project, which will be an intensive development on one of the most ecologically sensitive areas of Sarasota Bay, said there are so many reasons to stop this development, that her and other protesters aren't going to give up.

"It isn't over until it is over," said Angelucci, adding that they would organize and demonstrate opposition at every stage in hope of preventing the community's ecological resources from being spoiled.

The motion to continue the item to the February 25 meeting after the proper information is published was approved unanimously. 



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