BRADENTON -- Among a rash of special approvals and more that a dozen resident objections, the Manatee County Planning Commission requested approval at Tuesday's meeting for Woodbrook II, a Neal Community south of the Tuttle Avenue/Whitfield Avenue intersection in Manatee County.
The 77 residential-unit request is to be built on a 54-acre parcel that sits in a flood zone, requiring several special requests for specific approvals.
The project is within the Evers Reservoir Watershed Protection Overlay District. Project planners say the design will reduce the "calculated pre-development flow rate for storm water outfall flows either directly or indirectly into Rattlesnake Slough."
One resident said, "Sounds like more flooding to me."
None of the other residents who showed up were buying staff's nor the applicant's claim that any reduction was possible.
Robin Tosch, President of Sierra Palms Home Owners Association, said that there has been up to three feet of water preventing some residents from getting to their homes. "The county was supposed to put 'Flash Flood' warning sings up there," said Tosch.
George Ranier said, "Between Cascades and the raising of Whitfield Avenue, the water just comes back and not to the farms which had wetlands."
Palema Frese told the commission, "We haven't been able to get them to complete the sidewalk. There is no edge to the road and they go 40 mph. It is unsafe for bikers and walkers and especially school children. Increase the need for safety and see this as a opportunity to complete the sidewalk."
Pat and son John Neal waited after the vote to meet with residents. There were promises that actual flood reduction would be reduced, but they were echoes of what was said in chambers, just directed to the residents in a more personal manner.
The residents I spoke with afterward all said they continued to feel the same even after those assurances.
The vote was to recommend approval to the Board Of County Commissioners by a unanimous vote. The Woodbrook II application will now go before the BOCC in March.