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Homes approved in 25-year floodplain area of Manatee County

The residents who have lived near Slaughter Drain for decades know one thing is for certain: when it rains, it floods. The creek, often in need of dredging, runs to the east of Erie Court in Parrish before emptying into the Manatee River.

The council planning commission Thursday voted 4-1 to recommend the county commission OK The Grove at Grand Oak Preserve, a proposed 83-home development that Slaughter Drain would slice through. Planning Commission Chair Bill Conerly recused himself and Commissioner David Roth dissented.

“I’m afraid with all this filling in, we will flood,” said Joan Smith, who has lived in the area for 42 years. “We will become a big retention pond.”

As the surrounding area slowly becomes subdivisions, longtime residents of larger parcels are concerned the infill project will push stormwater to their land, as the area is already known for having “historically flooded in the past,” said TomGerstenberger, the county’s stormwater engineering division manager. He advised that if residents needed county staff to clear the creek, they should contact the Citizen Action Center at 941-742-5800.

As part of the proposal, 31 acres would be rezoned. A special approval is needed because the site is in a 25-year floodplain.