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Approval sought for as many as 500 homes in flood-prone areas

Two proposed developments that would offer as many as 501 units in areas known for flooding will be presented for approval during the Manatee County Planning Commission’s first meeting of the new year Thursday.

The Villas at Lockwood Ridge will be requesting approval of a preliminary site plan for 84 townhouses clustered on 37.19 acres on the northwest corner of Lockwood Ridge Road and 63rd Avenue East. The site’s northwestern border is the Barrington Ridge subdivision, to the east is the Mandalay subdivision and to the south is the Cascades subdivision.

The property, owned by Manatee Fruit Company, floods with rainfall, according to the staff report. The property is also within the Evers Reservoir Watershed Protection Overlay District, which requires special approval.

Nearly half of the vacant lot is made up of wetlands but the applicant proposes no wetland impacts, the staff report states, although some of the lots will creep into portions of the 30-foot wetland buffer. These encroachments were considered “minimal” and to mitigate this issue the applicant requested a variable width buffer, which could be as little as 11.7 feet.

The proposed development will also have one point of access on 63rd Avenue East and an emergency exit on 45th Street East.

The rezone of second development that planning commissioners will consider is Braden River Shores, proposed on 140.47 acres directly south of Pine Island on the Braden River. The subdivision could offer up to 417 single-family homes on either side of 26th Avenue East, just east of Sugar Creek Country Club. Some potential amenities include a kayak launch, a pier, a cabana and passive recreation parking, according to the staff report.

Owned by McClure Properties Ltd., the plot for Braden River Shores sits in evacuation zones A and C, and is said to be prone to flood from rainfall and from the river. Special approval will be required for constructions of homes within the 25-year floodplain, coastal high hazard area and coastal evacuation area.