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East County Thursday, Apr. 4, 2019 5 months ago

Manatee County changes settlement terms

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Tara property may be OK'd for residential development.
by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

Manatee County commissioners today rejected a legal settlement that would have allowed commercial development at the northwest corner of Tara Boulevard and State Road 70.

Instead, the board directed county staff to make changes needed to allow residential or residential uses to be constructed there on the 3-acre parcel in question.

Commissioners Carol Whitmore, Vanessa Baugh, Reggie Bellamy and Misty Servia supported the change, while commissioners Betsy Benac, Steve Jonsson and Priscilla Whisenant Trace opposed it.

Tara’s developer, Lake Lincoln, sued Manatee County in 2012, alleging property rights had been stripped from the parcel, called Parcel III-BB, when commissioners designated the land for preservation during a 2010 hearing. Manatee County and Lake Lincoln in June 2017 came to a settlement agreement that would have allowed for Lake Lincoln to build up to 19,500 square feet of commercial on a roughly 3-acre portion of the larger 10-acre property.

Manatee County 12th Judicial District Judge Lon Arend was set to approve the settlement, but residents of Tara opposed the agreement. Arend in August 2018 asked the board to reconsider their decision before he ruled on the settlement.

Now, Manatee County will lead changes to allow residential and residential support uses, such as a church or daycare, on the site. The changes would go to public hearing. 

The original lawsuit between Manatee County and Lake Lincoln regarding property rights will remain in court, but likely will be delayed.

For more history on the case, read here.

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