MANATEE COUNTY FL,--- At first glance the piece of land along El Conquistador Parkway looks like over grown brush and weeds but the interior and coast of the property are majestic scenes of mangroves, exotic birds, and sun glisten bay. Its all a part of Long Bar Pointe.
"It's the only thing like it in the entire Sarasota Bay Basin and they want to ruin it," said Terri Wonder.
Wonder is among the more than 5,000 people in opposition of the Long Bar Pointe mixed use development that would include restaurants, shops, homes, a hotel, and a lot more.
"The tourist resort and a retirement community they are proposing is high impact and its wrong for that area," added Wonder.
Medallion Homes is behind the development and they disagree.
"We have 15,200 feet of shore line and we're impacting 2 percent of that. There will also be impact to some mangroves which are not the mangroves you can see from the water." said Carlos Beruff the company's CEO.
Beruff says the removed mangroves are not visible because they are deep in the property. In addition he says whatever is mitigated will be replanted. They say the goal is to preserve the area so everyone can see and use it.
"Not everybody has a boat, not everybody has that kind of time, to circumvent the bay in order to be able to see it. So, we can create it so you can drive up there, park in our parking lot, and go have a cup of coffee and sit there for 45 minutes. Its something everyone should enjoy not just those who live in the area and that is why the project should move forward," added Beruff.
But that constant interaction with people is what many say they are worried about.
"The water fowl activity out there is incredible, as soon as you have tourist there who will be using the water way regularly, that daily grin of human impact will cause all that to go away," said Wonder. But she didn't stop there saying those against the proposal will continue to fight the measure. " We don't intend to stop after tomorrow. This is just the beginning. And, if the commissioner care about their legacy they will do the right thing."
A public hearing on the project will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 6, at the Bradenton Area Convention Center, on Haben Blvd.
ABC 7 will be at the hearing, and will bring you more information on the future of Long Bar Pointe