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Race village proposed for SR 64 development near racetracks

Schroeder-Manatee Ranch has tweaked its plan to attract racetrack-friendly homeowners to Taylor Ranch.


Kyle Grimes, an attorney for Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, speaks at the Dec. 15 meeting.
Kyle Grimes, an attorney for Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, speaks at the Dec. 15 meeting.
Photo by Ian Swaby
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After opposition from the motorsports community, Lakewood Ranch developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch has offered a revised plan for its Taylor Ranch community that will be adjacent to Bradenton Motorsports Park and the Freedom Factory racetracks.

A portion of the development, which will be located at the southeast corner of State Road 64 and Bourneside Boulevard, will be dedicated to those who would like to live in a “race village.”

Kyle Grimes, an attorney for Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, talked about the revised plan during the Manatee County Planning Commission meeting Jan. 12.

In addition to the race village, he said new stipulations and buffering will be added to the development’s proposal. 

The new proposal, which involved a rezone of the area from General Agriculture-Rural to Planned Development-Residential to allow for the construction of the overall Taylor Ranch community, was unanimously passed by the Planning Commission.

The rezone will go before the Manatee County Commission at an undetermined date.

At that time, commissioners will also review a change to the future land use category to allow three dwelling units per acre on the property, which was sent for state review during the Dec. 15 commission meeting. 

The Dec. 15 meeting saw a turnout of numerous individuals in the racing community concerned that opposition to the noise from the area’s two racetracks by future residents would put the racetracks out of business. 

Speakers included Garrett Mitchell, owner of the drag strip Freedom Factory who is known by his YouTube persona Cleetus McFarland, and Victor Alvarez, owner of Bradenton Motorsports Park.

Grimes said that after the board hearing, he met with the staff at Schroeder-Manatee Ranch and the two track owners to determine provisions that could improve the original proposal. 

Grimes said he wanted “to talk about some alternative options and things that could not only ensure that these two uses could coexist,but that might benefit each other in the long run.”


Race Village

The race village, which would cover about 140 acres in the northwest corner of the approximately 2,307.57-acre development, will be designed to serve those who are interested in racetracks, Grimes said. 

He said it will be “specifically designed and marketed toward buyers, owners and tenants who not only understand and appreciate the operations and uses at the racetrack, but who want to live in close proximity to it.”

Grimes said in order to evaluate its options, SMR visited other similarly themed developments in the area, one of them being The Motor Enclave in Tampa, which includes townhome-style buildings with large, oversized garages. The Motor Enclave has its own performance track.


The race village, Grimes said, would follow a similar design, including the oversized garages. He said the garages would allow homeowners to work on or store race or recreational vehicles, including RVs they use to travel to racing events. 

A potential tie between the neighborhood and racetrack is being discussed.

Grimes said based on the testimony at the last board meeting from the racing community, SMR believes there will be widespread interest in a race village.

The planning commission appeared to be receptive to the concept.

“That’s a very creative way to try to get around the track challenge, and I think it’s actually a very interesting residential use,” said Planning Commissioner Ray Turner.


Stipulations

Grimes said stipulations are being proposed for deed restrictions throughout the entirety of Taylor Ranch, not only the racing village. 

These stipulations will not only require homeowners to be notified about the noise, he said, but will also take the requirements a step further than usual. All declarations recorded throughout the entirety of Taylor Ranch will include provisions that future homeowners recognize the existence of the tracks, the purpose of the race village and the fact that the tracks are preexisting, permitted uses to which homeowners must not raise objections. 

These sections, he said, cannot be amended or terminated without the prior written approval of the owners of the track and drag strip. 

“We wanted to show that our client intends to see this racetrack and drag strip continue to be successful — but not only that — with some of the clarifications and changes we are making here, the two could work together,” he said. 


The general development plan for Taylor Ranch.
Courtesy rendering

Additional mitigation

Some changes to noise mitigation are included in the new proposal. 

The large screening buffer in the northeast corner, which will extend to the future location of 44th Avenue E., will provide a combined berm and wall height of more than 25 feet, Grimes said. 

Previously, its combined height had been described as at least 20 feet. 

Moving forward, Grimes said there will also be wetlands and habitat preserved in an upland area just south of the race village. These buffers were shown as 50 feet in length on a map displayed by SMR. 


More features

Ancillary uses are also being added to the development, including a future 20-acre school site and a personal wireless service facility. The school site is located at the eastern edge of the property, just north of the extension of 44th Avenue E. 

Katie LaBarr, a certified planner with Stantec, said there were several access points for the community from Bourneside Boulevard, and one from State Road 64, the specific details of which would be approved in the future. 

She said the project will provide thoroughfares as two roads, 44th Avenue E. And Rangeland Parkway, are extended into its boundaries. 

LaBarr said compatibility issues will continue to be addressed as each phase comes in for approval, and also said the developer was limiting density to 1.95 dwelling units per acre.


Past the boundary line 

Dorothy Rainey, a Manatee County planning staff member, noted that the development, which is east of Bourneside Boulevard, will extend beyond the Future Development Area Boundary (FDAB) line, which is located along that road.

The line is intended to serve as a boundary for the eastward expansion of development in the county. Rainey noted that the development is still permitted because it is “coterminous and contiguous” with the adjacent development to the west. 

She noted positives of the project including its master plan, which can address compatibility between internal and external uses, as well as its thoroughfare roads, amenity centers and housing options.

 

author

Ian Swaby

Ian Swaby is a reporter for the East County Observer. Ian is a Florida State University graduate of Editing, Writing, and Media and previously worked in the publishing industry in the Cayman Islands. You will find Ian at everything from Music on Main in Lakewood Ranch to Manatee County Commission meetings.

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