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Manatee County Looks to Revamp Land Development Code


BRADENTON -- At Tuesday's BOCC Workshop, Littlejohn Engineering Associates Project Manager, Patrica A. Tyjeski, walked commissioners and staff through Phase I of a process that proposes to bring revolutionary changes to the Land Development Code (LDC).

The presentation was designed to inform the board and the public of changes associated with the first phase of amendments planned to be implemented in the LDC. Next week, the proposal will be posted on the county's website and will be available for 60 days for review and comment by both staff and the public alike.

The last county LDC was adopted in 1990. Since then, the code has become very complicated through patch-work changes. Consequently, the county says it is deterring redevelopment and economic impact, mostly because the old code does not differentiate between rural and urban areas.

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     Pat Tyjeski, LEA, Inc. and Bob Schmitt, Planning Division Manager

Tyjeski suggested a complete reorganization of code; a consolidation of LDC chapters; a transfer of certain regulations to manuals; the creation of easy to read tables; simplification of regulations; and the identifications of recommendations and future task.

A revised outline displays how the number of departments can be reduced from 13 to 11. In chapter one, general provisions would require a discontinuation of nonconforming uses, so uses can be renewed or reestablished if they meet certain requirements.

Under the proposed LDC zoning rewrite, there would be a streamlining of district regulations and standards for specific uses. The rewrite proposal also suggests there be extensive consolidating and deleting of specific uses/standards that exist in the current code.

The proposal reduces the number of LDC chapters by consolidating related issues into fewer ones. The rewrite suggests that Environmental and Cultural Protection, and Engineering Design and Utilities, can both consist of only one chapter each, instead of being spread out as they are currently.

As the presentation came to a close, Tyjeski pointed out that Transportation Management could also consolidate requirements for public and private streets, update portions in accordance with Complete Streets Concept. 

Commission chair Larry Bustle reminded the commission that this is just the beginning of the process. Bustle said the proposal would come back before the board in February. 

"There were questions about properties that are grandfathered into old codes and how those problems would be handled," Commissioner Baugh added. "Whatever they are, we will need to address Myakka. Those people want to be left alone."


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