+ Commission reviews changes to SMR project
The Manatee County Planning Commission considered changes to the general development plan for the Lakewood Centre, a three-phase project in Lakewood Ranch originally approved in 2008.
The planning commission recommended approval Sept. 13 of Schroeder-Manatee Ranch’s proposal for less commercial and office space in the first phase of the project and more residential housing than originally requested.
SMR proposes to exchange 100,000 square feet of commercial space and 100,000 square feet of office space for 1,008 single-family homes.
“The change allows us to move more rapidly in producing the residential product, which will give the critical mass needed for the commercial and office uses that follow,” said Todd Pokrywa, vice president of planning for SMR.
Original approvals for Lakewood Centre allowed for exchanges of land use to respond to changing market demand.
County staff reviewed the proposed changes and determined this new mix does not exceed the impacts (on transportation, for example) of the previous plan.
Phase one of the project, located east of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, west of Pope Road and north of State Road 70, originally called for 900 residential units, 460,000 square feet of retail space, 458,000 square feet of office space, a 300-room hotel and 36 acres of parks.
Development of the project’s first phase began with the construction of the 272-unit Lost Creek Apartments in 2011.
The first phase, to be completed in 2022, will also encompass the 256-unit Creekside Apartments and the Intercoastal Medical Group’s new medical facility.
The entire project will be finished in 2026.
The Manatee County Board of County Commissioners will vote on the changes to the project at its Oct. 3 meeting.
+ Keep Manatee Beautiful honors green practices
Keep Manatee Beautiful honored area businesses, neighborhoods and government entities for green practices at its 2013 awards celebration Sept. 12, at Polo Grill.
Manatee County Administrator Ed Hunzeker gave the keynote speech.
East County schools Braden River High School, Nolan Middle School and Manatee Technical Institute earned recognition for being green schools.
Green schools must have a campus without litter and graffiti and landscaping that uses native Florida plants.
They must also recycle, conserve natural resources and energy sources and contribute to the community’s physical environment.
Keep Manatee Beautiful awarded Lakewood Ranch Medical Center the recycling award for a large business.
Braden River Park received the same designation for a government entity.
Landscape winners, recognized for having landscapes that surpass the norm for design, maintenance, community awareness, neighborhood enhancement and more, include Mixon Fruit Farms and Benderson Development.
Lakewood Ranch Community Development Districts earned an award for public service.
The CDDs proved strong leadership in improving the environment by preventing illegal dumping and littering.
+ School district puts two properties up for sale
At a public hearing Aug. 29, Manatee County School District officials said they would have to sell surplus property to pay for unexpected costs, such as an audit of sales tax revenue, legal costs to the school board and extra money to trim last year’s budget deficit.
The school district moved quickly, announcing Sept. 13 that it had put up two properties for sale.
The properties included a vacant parcel in Ellenton, appraised at $460,000, and the district’s Parent Information Center, appraised at $840,000.
“The school district’s recent experience with selling properties shows that prices can fluctuate greatly,” said Steve Valley, district spokesman. “The sale of the Checkers property recently approved by the school board was for $2.07 million, and that property was appraised for $1.65 million.”
The deadline to offer to buy the properties is 3 p.m. Sept. 30.
Information on the two properties includes:
Meetings & Agendas
• Manatee County Board of County Commissioners Budget Public Hearing — 6 p.m. Sept. 19, at the Manatee County Government Administrative Center, 1112 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton
• Manatee County School Board Workshop (board issues) — 3 p.m. Sept. 23, at 215 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton
• Manatee County School Board Meeting — 5:45 p.m. Sept. 23, at 215 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton
• Manatee County Board of County Commissioners Meeting — 9 a.m. Sept. 24, at the Manatee County Government Administrative Center, 1112 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton