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News Section: Local Government

Beruff Suing County Over Comp Plan Text Amendment Denial

Published Tuesday, August 5, 2014 11:00 am

BRADENTON – Local developer Carlos Beruff has filed suit with Manatee County over the BOCC's denial for the request of a text amendment to the county's comp plan that would have greatly reduced development oversight on large coastal land parcels. Beruff and his partner on the project, Larry Lieberman, wanted to build a large marina and hotel as part of their Long Bar Pointe development in southwest Manatee County near IMG Academy and sought the change in language in immediate advance of other applications for that project.

Beruff, with Lieberman in the background, arguing their

case at the August 2013 meeting.

Beruff and Lieberman sought the comp plan changes for projects on 100-acres or more, located on a coastal line, adjacent to navigable waters and on an arterial roadway, that included “a demonstration of  a public benefit.”

The text amendment was opposed by staff and had been opposed by the Manatee Planning Commission before the board voted 7-0 to deny it in a contentious meeting held at the Bradenton Area Convention Center in Palmetto on August 6, 2013.

At that same meeting, commissioners voted 4-3 to approve a controversial future use map amendment for the Long Bar Pointe project, after the removal of language regarding a proposed marina.

There was much local opposition to the project for reasons including the sea grass that would be damaged in dredging surrounding waters and the mangrove forests that would be damaged and destroyed during development.

Commercial and recreational fishermen were concerned that destroying feeder fish grounds in the area would have a ripple effect on the rest of the bay and gulf. Others were concerned for traffic impact, safety hazards from inadequate hurricane evacuation routes and the change in character that such a large-scale waterfront project might cause.

The project, which will see the build out of the last significant portion of undeveloped land on the Manatee County coastline of Sarasota Bay, is already slated for over 4,000 homes, plus 150,000 sq ft of commercial space, all approved by the board back in 2008.

Manatee County attorney Mickey Palmer sent commissioners the following email late Monday, making them aware of the suit.

On Aug 4, 2014, at 5:30 PM, "Mitchell Palmer" <> wrote:


As you may know, today the County was served with a Notice of Claim under the Bert J. Harris Private Property Rights Protection Act (Section 70.001, et seq., Florida Statutes) by the owners / developers of the Long Bar Pointe property. The focus, of course, is the Board's decision last year to decline the developer's request for a transmittal of a text amendment to the County's Comprehensive Plan. While we have every intention of proceeding in good faith with the process required under the Bert Harris Act, rest assured that the Office of the County Attorney will vigorously defend the decision of the Board in this matter.

Once we have had an opportunity to review and analyze the Notice of Claim, we will provide you with our recommendations as to how the County should respond. Since the Act allows the owners / developers to file a lawsuit in the Circuit Court, we advise Commissioners to refrain from discussing the matter with anyone unless accompanied by an attorney from this office. We have made a similar recommendation to County staff within the Building & Development Services Department.

Please call upon me if you have questions or concerns.

Mickey Palmer
County Attorney

Join the conversation post Facebook comments here or on our site at the bottom of article.


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Please help your fellow humans ? We need anyone familiar with the harmful activities of Carlos Beruff to Speak at a public hearing that will allow him to build on a toxic dump? Amazing as this sounds, he used his influence (he is on the governing board of SWFTMD) to get a letter from SW FDEP that he can put 205 homes on a Sarasota County, unlined landfill. Michael Moran was on the Planning Commission when he requested same, Michael Moran was the first to move that he be allowed to build ? This puts many existing home owners in risk of toxins being sent into local lakes and streams and groundwater.

If anyone of your readers can take the time to speak at the Nov 18, 2014 hearing at 1:30 PM 1660 Ringling Blvd in Sarasota, Florida PLEASE HELP tell them what he has done in the past.

We need someone from Bradenton or Anna Maria to tell the Sarasota County Commission (that thinks he walks on water), to let them know his true colors, PLEASE HELP US ! Please post this in some form so we can get at least one person to speak at the hearing?. Lets cover Sarasota and get people out to this Beruff Popularity Contest
Posted by Cobalt Huskey on November 14, 2014

What ever happened to the will of the people? Looks like most people said no. I think in a Republic (like the United States for example) No means No.
Posted by Paul Thomas on August 6, 2014

declare eminent domaine and take over the entire property and leave it as wetlands. Pay the developer partnership the value of the property as unbuildable wetlands.
if something then has to be done with the property, turn it into a preserve or park
Posted by george talbot on August 6, 2014

Carlos has done us a favor. Now how will the developers' darlings react? Will Whitmore continue to claim Cortez loves her for her efforts denying the marina? Will Whitmore come from behind the expensive lawyers and answer voters' concerns? Here's an opportunity, Carol to show you are not a slave to Neal or Beruff. Beruff has demonstrated his total lack of concern for our community. His bullying will not work anymore. Commissioners should not hide behind county's expensive lawyers, but talk to the voters, - lawyers be damned. And, Carlos, you are giving capitalism a bad name by your infantile Ayn Rand behavior.
Posted by joe kane on August 6, 2014

Voters should remember that Michael Galen and Robin DiSabitino were steadfast in their opposition to the overreaching Long Bar Pointe project. Terri Wonder stands in opposition to the evermore apparent ambitions and tactics of the developers. Please remember the lawsuit when you go to the polls!
Posted by Bill Burggraf on August 6, 2014

None of us, who have been following this developer or the actions of our elected officials are surprised. Yoo bad BoCC actions made these men feel that they are entitled to destroy natural areas so that they and their cronies can enrich themselves at the expense of the common good.
Posted by Nancy R Dean on August 5, 2014

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