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News Section: Local Government

Del Webb at Lakewood Ranch is a Go

Published Friday, June 6, 2014 12:04 am

BRADENTON -- At Thursday's BOCC Land Use Meeting, commissioners showed their flexibility to modify their General Development Plan and Land Development Code by using approvals on special request. Del Webb at Lakewood Ranch, may be changing the way a development gets built.


It was just one month ago that Caleb Grimes, attorney for the applicant, went before the Manatee Planning Commission to ask their recommendation for a long list of special requests to build a 1,300 single-residence development off SR 70, on a 645-acre parcel in Lakewood Ranch.


Two of the special requests were because the project is partially located within the Watershed Overlay District, and the gross residential density exceeds the one dwelling unit per-acre that the code suggests. The proposed gross density is 2.02. 


The applicant also requested a street formula change (reducing the lanes to 11 ft. width) and alternative street drains. The Miami- style street drains take the height out of the curb and offer a smoother line to the road. 


Specific approval for a Land Development Code (LDC) were requested as well. The applicant requested a smaller-caliber tree diameter; and the allowance of only one canopy tree per resident instead of one every 50 feet along the right-of-way, as the LDC suggests.


The LDC required buffer was modified and a 0.24 acre wetland will be impacted to provide a inter-neighborhood tie.


Another request by the applicant was to not build a sidewalk along S.R. 70, because there is no other sidewalk to connect to. The applicant is offering a percentage of the cost to be donated to the county's sidewalk fund.


SR 70 is expected to expand to four lanes in years to come, and another sidewalk would be included in SR 70 projects. 


Grimes said that the project is proposed to be constructed in phases, the first beginning in 2014, to a build-out in 2015. Grimes added that he expects the complete build-out to be within 10 years. 


The project is said to be a "gated, private-road adult community." More frequently, project codes are being modified to build a particular design rather than the design fitting the codes.  

Commissioners voted to approve 6 - 0 with Commissioner Whitmore absent.

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I deeply regret that some commissioners with whom I generally agree have voted to allow loss of more natural wetlands. I suspect that at least one did so because of a regulation passed by the others in early 2013 that allows developers to alter up to one half acre of wetlands. This ordinance needs to be repealed, which will require at least some new commissioners. In addition, a bad precedent was set by a majority of the current board, again in early 2013, when strip mining was allowed in the watershed for our drinking water. It was costly to taxpayers to set aside vital watershed lands. Shame on those, who now damage or destroy these essential public lands.
Posted by Nancy R Dean on June 8, 2014

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Name Date
Patricia Ritchlin September 25, 2014
Glennava Inman September 25, 2014
Jo-Ann Cherry September 22, 2014
Emma Engelmann September 20, 2014
Bonny Cloud September 18, 2014
Marion Forbes September 15, 2014
Emma LaSota September 6, 2014
Elizabeth Pagliarulo September 11, 2014
Joseph Bische August 31, 2014
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