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East County Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019 3 weeks ago

Five-story concept rejected in Manatee County

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Manatee County commissioners support lower building height near Fairfield.
by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

Residents of the Fairfield community breathed a sigh of relief Nov. 7 after learning that their sunset views would not be obstructed by a five-story hotel or other building.

Developer Gryboski Howe and Gravely had hoped to build an additional 59,520 square feet of commercial use at its plaza at the southeast corner of Lockwood Ridge Road and State Road 70 and was also asking the county commission to allow a five-story building on one of three remaining parcels there.

During a land-use meeting Nov. 7, Manatee County commissioners agreed to restrict future building heights to four stories, which is already allowed by the county’s land development code. The commissioners said they believed that the taller height was not compatible with the surrounding area.

“I can’t think of any buildings that tall in that area,” Manatee County District 5 Commissioner Vanessa Baugh said. “I can’t go along with the additional height. It’s just not compatible [with that area].”

Fairfield residents said they were pleased.

“[Commissioners] really took to heart what our concerns were,” Fairfield Community Association President Mike Reddy said.

GHG representative Darenda Marvin said GHG did not have an end-user for the proposed five-story site but had made the request to possibly accommodate a future hotel.

In other business, Manatee County commissioners agreed to continue to Jan. 9 a request by Manatee Ranches Inc. to develop a triangular 1.5-acre parcel at the northeast corner of S.R. 70 and County Road 675.

Developer representatives said the intent is for a neighborhood country store with up to four gas pumps, though other uses are allowed. No end-user has yet been identified.

“This would be highway-oriented commercial; this is not neighborhood commercial,” Manatee County Commissioner Betsy Benac said. “I do not believe this is serving the neighborhood.”

After Baugh motioned to reject the request, applicant attorney Scott Rudacille asked to continue the item, so the applicant could consider other uses for the property.

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