Long Bar Pointe developer gets approval from commission

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MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. - The debate about development along the north end of Sarasota Bay continues. Tuesday, Manatee County Commissioners heard arguments for and against the proposed Long Bar Pointe.

"Citizens are really concerned with this fragmented approach to developing, and don't insult us further by bending the land development code to accommodate the developer." One concerned resident after  another took turns addressing the commission. "I ask you please -- don't approve this today."

But despite much opposite, the commission decided 5-1 to allow the 200-residential lot community off El Conquistador Parkway to move forward.

In addition to the residential units, the developer plans to relocate a pond currently visible from the street, as well as fill a stream running through the property and create a sea wall -- all changes that those opposing the measure say will have devastating effect on the environment and the community.

"Two-thirds of the property the developer owns is in a coastal high hazard area. And the trouble with that is when you begin filling in such low-lying property, not only do you destroy the environment, but you also eliminate what effectively is a sponge that protects Southwest Bradenton from flooding," says concerned resident Terri Wonder.