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East County Wednesday, Jun. 2, 2010 7 years ago

Riva Trace earns county OK

by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

Download the Riva Trace county documents here.

MANATEE COUNTY — After making several concessions, homebuilder Medallion Home now can move forward with the development of a new 86-home community in the East County.

The Manatee County Board of County Commissioners on May 25 approved a revised preliminary site plan for Riva Trace, a community that will sit at the southwest corner of Interstate 75 and the Braden River.

“For the most part, we’re happy with what occurred,” said Medallion Home Vice President Pete Logan, noting the changes were necessary to make the project financially feasible for his company. “We did make some concessions to work with our neighbors. We’re really excited about Riva Trace.”

About 100 residents from University Place attended the meeting to oppose the changes sought by Medallion, including access to University Place’s gated Meeting Street and the elimination of a previously required wall or fence between the two communities, among other items.

During the public hearing, Medallion Home owner Carlos Beruff agreed to install the fence or wall in exchange for being allowed to build homes closer to Interstate 75 and replacing fewer trees than planners had hoped.

Commissioners did not allow the Southwest Florida Water Management District to have sole authority over wetland mitigation on the property because Beruff serves on the organization’s board. However, they did agree to Beruff’s modified request to have the county regulate the wetlands if the water district did not.

The board also granted Medallion authority to burn yard waste on-site during construction, using a type of incinerator that produces less smoke. Beruff said the change would save about $2,000 per home built.

Overall, University Place residents were pleased with the results, although a few worries remain, said Terry Williams, president of the University Place Homeowners’ Association.

“I think we’re about 80% satisfied,” he said. “We are still concerned about the number of trees that will disappear, and we’re concerned about the open burning situation.”

Williams said having a buffer between Riva Trace and University Place was important to residents for their security and to ensure that only University Place residents were using the community’s three miles of nature trails.

“We’re reasonably happy (with the outcome of the meeting), but we hope (Riva Trace) will go forward without any further ado, and we don’t end up with another fight (like we did in 2006 when the original site plan was approved),” Williams said. “We hope this is the end.”

Logan said Medallion plans to start moving dirt and building infrastructure for Riva Trace in November, or at least by the end of the year. Models for preconstruction sales are expected to open the late second quarter of 2011 or in early third quarter of 2011.

Once completed, Riva Trace will be a private, gated, maintenance-free neighborhood, he said. Logan said home prices would be dictated by the market.

Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].

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