Hurricane Carlos appears determined to make landfall on Tuesday at 9 a.m. in Bradenton when the Manatee County Commission is expected to finally decide the destiny of Aqua by the Bay. The courageous decision is to say no, hell no.
The massive project proposed by developer Carlos Beruff on the county’s final piece of unspoiled coastal shoreline involves 2,384 multi-family homes, 510 single-family homes, and 78,000 square feet of commercial space between El Conquistador Parkway and Sarasota Bay.
» A Daily Fray opinion
Conservationists correctly say that Aqua threatens the best mangrove and seagrass ecosystem on Sarasota Bay, some of the finest fishing grounds in Southwest Florida, and a spectacular bird habitat. They also say that conscientious development of the property is OK by them but not like this.
There are county rules. It’s not complicated. It’s all there in writing.
In an opinion published Sunday in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Stuart Smith, a Suncoast Waterkeeper and Sierra Club representative, points out multiple violations of the county’s Comprehensive Plan, including limits on building heights, dredging, and wetlands analysis.
Those violations alone demand commissioners vote no as a matter of law.