News Section: Manatee County
Another Robinson Farms Decision Sinks Neal Deal
BRADENTON -- Administrative Law Judge, Bram D.E. Canter, ruled against Robinson Farms developer John Neal's proposed 50-acre development slated for northwest Bradenton. This was the third attempt by Neal to seal the deal on this highly-contested project and it is not clear where he'll go from here.
The proposed project is located on the north side of 9th Avenue Northwest, about 600 feet east of 99th Street in Bradenton.
Katie Pierola and Greg Geraldson were the two residents challenging the project, on grounds that the amendments adopted were not in compliance with the Manatee County Comprehensive Plan. Canter agreed and said that the amended ordinance adopted by the Manatee Board of County Commissioners on December 5, 2013, was not in compliance with section 163.3184 (1) (b), Florida Statute.
The approval to adopt Ordinance No. 13-10 amended Manatee County's Future Land Use Map, reclassifying the Robertson Farms Inc. property from Residential-1 to Residential-3 (units per acre). Canter said this was in violation of state statute.
Much of the property lies in the Coastal Evacuation Area and all but 4.68 acres lie in the Coastal High Hazard Area. A density change in either area was again ruled inconsistent with the comprehensive plan, as well as state law.
Previous efforts to amend the comprehensive plan were shot down from non-compliance to state statue when petitioners Pierola and Geraldson challenged a proposed amendment in 2010. There too, a Res-1 to Res-3 was requested. Administrative Law Judge D.R. Alexander determined that amendment was not in compliance.
TBT could only reach Pierola after receiving the ruling. Pierola said, "We had an incredible attorney, Thomas Reese, most of the credit goes to him. He worked around the clock tirelessly without giving up."
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