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Will Robinson Farms Density Issue Finally be Decided at Tomorrow's BOCC Meeting?


MANATEE COUNTY -- Ordinance 11-035, Robinson Farms: An ordinance regarding amending Manatee County's Comprehensive Plan of property, located north of 9th Avenue Northwest, east of 99th Street Northwest and south of 17th Street Northwest, for a Future Land Use Classification of the 28 acre parcel. The conflict revolves around a series of ongoing events.

The cards informing residents of a Comprehensive Plan change first went out in October of 2008. There was a continuance in '09, followed by a recommendation from staff in 2010, not to approve the change, which would drastically alter density. Twice, the BOCC stalled on a 3-3 vote (one commissioner not able to attend). The applicant, Neal Communities, asked for the decision to be brought before mediation.

What was to be the last vote by the BOCC resulted in a 4-3 against the change, until County Commissioner Gwen Brown had a conversation with Neal representatives and changed her vote, resulting in a 4-3, for the applicant. Administrative Law Judge D. R. Alexander ruled against the decision stating, the map change was not in compliance because of a flood zone issue. The decision did not go back to the partially dismantled DCA though, which had previously voted to pass the applicant's request. Because of a newly legislated Growth Management Bill, the decision is slated to be sent to Tallahassee to go before the Governor's "Administrative Commission."

On August 4 of this year, the BOCC approved a motion to bring the decision before them again, ostensibly to repeal their last decision and render the issue moot because of the ALJ's opinion (click to read PDF)on the appeal. This would seem to send a message to Tallahassee that the local government takes care of local business. At the August 4 meeting, it appeared the votes existed to do so, but with this issue, neither side is likely to pull up until the tomorrow's vote is cast.

Also on the agenda: If approved, Datacomm Services (DCS) will proceed with 20 solar lease contracts to install their progressive photovoltaic system at various county buildings. Datacom takes advantage of various tax credits and other clean energy incentives in the market to install photovoltaic tubes that can help municipalities save on utility costs.

Click here to read the full agenda for tomorrow's meeting.


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