BRADENTON – The proposed Robinson Farms density change that will come back in front of the Manatee County Commission at Thursday's land use meeting has been around for more than three years and gained plenty of opponents, including two citizens who won an ALJ decision on the matter way back in 2011. The board will vote on a proposed settlement and the area's most tireless environmental group, Manasota-88, has voiced their opposition in advance of the vote.
On Tuesday, the group sent commissioners the following letter:
ManaSota-88, Inc. (hereinafter, "ManaSota-88"), is a public interest conservation and environmental protection organization which is a Florida not-for-profit corporation and a citizen of the State of Florida. The corporate purposes of ManaSota-88 include the protection and preservation of water quality and wildlife habitat in Manatee and Sarasota Counties and, therefore, opposing the Robinson Farms Comprehensive Plan Amendment is within ManaSota-88's general scope of interest and activity. Disapproval of the proposed Amendment and Ordinance is the type of relief appropriate for ManaSota-88, Inc. to request on behalf of its members.
ManaSota-88 strongly opposes agenda items #6 & 7 for the following reasons:
1. The majority of the site is located in the Coastal High Hazard Area (CHHA). Objective 4.3.1 and Policy 220.127.116.11 of the Comprehensive Plan limits density within the CHHA.
2. The Statewide Regional Hurricane Evacuation Study/Storm Tide Atlas indicates the entire site to be in Hurricane Evacuation A. We are greatly concerned that the proposed development will impact the safe evacuation of existing residents in Manatee County. Nothing should take precedence over protecting the public's well being.
3. Traffic volume will increase as a result of increased density.
4. In 1997, a proposed Plan Amendment (PA-97-18) was submitted to the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) for review. The DCA objected to the adoption of the comprehensive plan amendment because density was being increased in the CHHA. Nothing has changed; the proposed development is still within the CHHA and still in Hurricane Evacuation Level 1 & 2.
5. The proposed plan amendment does not meet the Comprehensive Plan provisions regarding justification as a change in circumstances since the area that once was primarily agricultural uses is now characterized by residential and residential support uses. Increases in residential development make it less desirable to build in this area due to evacuation and traffic concerns.
6. Manatee County Comprehensive Plan Objective 4.3.1 limits development type, density, and intensity in the CHHA and directs population and development to areas outside of the CHHA and Coastal Evacuation Areas.
Glenn Compton - Chairman
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