BRADENTON – The highly controversial Long Bar Pointe development comes back before the Manatee County Commission on Thursday, with a public hearing, after which the board will vote on a preliminary site plan (click to read PDF) for one portion of the project.
The staff report (click to read PDF) describes the project as bordering Sarasota Bay. About half of the project lies in a Coastal Evacuation Area. As such, a Hurricane Evacuation Plan will be required at the time of the Final Site Plan/Preliminary Plat stage of the development. The staff report also says that “no wetlands are proposed to be impacted by the proposed development.”
TBT publisher and former Manatee County Commissioner Joe McClash, who opposed the development altogether, arguing that any increase of intensity in a coastal high hazard area violated the county's comp plan, said that he found the maps and staff report somewhat contradictory and hoped that commissioners would seek thorough clarification before considering approval.
“There are parts of the map that don't seem to match the description in the staff report,” said McClash, referring to a sizable area just west of the site that sits between it and the water. “When you're dealing with a developer who has a history of suing the county, you have to be careful or else you find yourself in a situation where the text says one thing and the maps say another and then the developer has you in court if he doesn't get an approval later on what the maps would seem to support.”
McClash is referring to Long Bar co-developer Carlos Beruff, who along with partner Larry Lieberman recently sued Manatee County, seeking millions in compensation for a piece of land the county was using to extend El Conquistador Parkway. The road in question actually led to the development – a road that Lieberman himself had originally agreed to build.
"He (Beruff) sues the county more than any other developer," said Mcclash, "usually forcing a settlement."
McClash argued that the plan does not comply with the intent of the codes to request approval for a superior plan.
"Leaving the property closest to the bay out of the plan should be enough reason to deny the plan," said McClash. “The question is, why did staff not provide accurate comments in their staff report?"
Thursday’s meeting will be held at the Manatee County Administrative Building located at xxx. It is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Residents can give public comment at the beginning of the meeting, which will also be televised on MGA-TV. They can also email their county commissioner prior to the meeting.
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