Tag Archives: News

Turtle watch shocked by EPA halt to nesting

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Sea turtles that have nested on Anna Maria Island beaches for millennia are being targeted as undocumented immigrants.

According to new environmental regulations enacted by new officials with the EPA, sea turtles will no longer be allowed on U.S. shores, and a wall will be built to prevent future nesting activity.

An Aquatic Defense Boundary Wall — a title given to the project by the federal government — will extend the full length of the Gulf-side of the island, about 1 mile offshore.

Similar plans are in motion for neighboring barrier islands where sea turtles nest, including on Longboat Key. An ADBW is under construction in the waters surrounding the Florida Keys.

The wall will be funded using money previously allocated to environmental protection for sea turtles and other species.

ABDW’s Willam Dawson is chair of the wall logistics committee. He claims sea turtles have been considered a “nuisance” by some government factions for years.

“Now that government isn’t wasting all that money on turtle-friendly lights and outreach, we can finally build this wall and keep those seagrass-eating menaces offshore,” Dawson said.

Wall construction could begin as early as May, the start of sea turtle nesting season.

Female sea turtles only come ashore to nest and during this time, lights on the waterfront must be kept low and shielded, so as not to distract the turtles from returning to the Gulf of Mexico.

But no more.

George Linnby owns a home on the beach in Anna Maria and says he is “over it” with sea-turtle precautions.

“Switching out lights, shutting curtains after dark, motion sensors — all this to accommodate outsiders that just want to dig up our beaches with their stinky nests,” Linnby said. “To me they just represent a hazard.”

In a March 31 interview with The Islander, Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring executive director Suzi Fox said she is outraged and will do anything to stop the wall.

“This is a travesty,” Fox said. “If we have to swim out there ourselves and blockade the contractors, then so be it.”

But representatives of longtime Bradenton resident Snooty the Manatee feel differently.

“Snooty always gets really down come May and doesn’t shake his funk until after they’ve gone back out to sea,” Kelly Cooper, Snooty’s social director, said March 29. “We can’t even mention the words ‘sea turtle’ near his tank or he gets agitated.”

According to Fox, the fight has just begun. She will work to designate a “sanctuary beach” for the turtles, if the wall is built.

“We are rallying support from organizations around the country who will help us knock down this wall before it’s built,” Fox said. “Not even the president — or Snooty for that matter — can stop our girls from coming home to nest.”

Fox said she’d put out a call to action April 1.

DOT funds $7M Holmes Beach-SR 789 project

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The intersection of Gulf Drive and State Road 789 will be reconstructed as a roundabout as part of a $7.09 million plan by the Florida Department of Transportation. Islander Photo: Bonner Joy

The cost: more than $1 million a mile.

The length: 5.72 miles.

A road improvement project for portions of State Road 789 with construction in 2021-25 is expected to cost $7.09 million. The improvements cover the SR 789 corridor from 27th Street North to the intersection of Palm and Gulf drives, with funding by the Florida Department of Transportation.

Gulf Drive has been identified by the DOT as a “failing segment during seasons and holidays,” according to the project information packet.

Holmes Beach city engineer Lynn Burnett registered the project on the DOT’s priority list to address “chronic flooding issues that are prevalent along Gulf Drive,” according to a May 12, 2016, email from Burnett to DOT’s Ryan Weeks and Lauren Hatchell. The project also ties in with Burnett’s recently proposed roadway bike and pedestrian plans.

The repairs would establish a safe corridor for visitors and residents as the only evacuation route in the city, while providing the first step in converting the corridor to a “complete street.” The push for complete streets is part of a DOT initiative to provide safer, context-sensitive roads by putting “the right street in the right place,” according to the DOT website, fdot.gov.

Eight existing concrete cross drains from 52nd Street to 43rd Street would be repaired to manage stormwater runoff, while allowing for bike path construction on top of the drainage system.

A four-lane arterial roundabout would also be constructed at the intersection of Gulf Drive and SR 789, according to the DOT packet.

A portion of the project would be funded by the city’s local gas tax revenue and regional trails funding as sections of SR 789 are within the city limits and part of a future Shared-Use, Nonmotorized Trail system. The AMI SunTrail, a north-south corridor from would run the length of Gulf Drive. It would consist of two 11-foot-wide vehicle lanes with a 3-foot separation on each side for a paved two-way 10-foot-wide bike path on one side and an 8-foot-wide path on the other side.

City commissioners are expected to authorize Mayor Bob Johnson to execute the project’s priority application for the DOT to fund the project at their March 28 meeting at city hall.

Manatee County to consider rezoning Aqua By The Bay

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Heavy equipment clears the land, as trees, vegetation and shrubs burn at the 529-acre Aqua By The Bay site under a Southwest Florida Water Management District agricultural permit that was issued to excavate ponds and lakes. Islander Photo: Kathy Prucnell

Manatee County commissioners soon will be asked to rezone and consider a general development plan for the Aqua By The Bay, a development formerly proposed as Long Bar Pointe.

About one-third of the property, which lies east and south of Cortez, is submerged lands.

Long Bar Pointe LLLP and Cargor Partners VIII, guided by developers Carlos Beruff and Larry Lieberman, have requested a 191-acre rezone and mixed-use development plan for the 529-acre site between El Conquistador Parkway and Sarasota Bay.

The county planning commission is expected to hear the developers’ proposals at 9 a.m. Thursday, April 13, and the plan could be on the agenda for a Manatee County Board of Commissioners’ land use meeting as early as May 4.

The plan includes 78,000 square feet of commercial and retail space, 2,894 homes, recreational amenities and private boat docks.

According to the Aqua website, plans include a boardwalk, promenade, observation piers and restaurants accessible to the public.

Since the developers resubmitted plans in August 2015, the number of proposed residences has dropped by 303 units but the commercial space has remained the same.

According to a county notice, the proposed mixed-use zoning change will affect 191 acres and three parcels — 39 acres currently zoned residential single-family at 4.5 units per acre, 22 acres zoned suburban-agricultural land at one-dwelling unit per acre, and 130 acres now in planned-development residential and agricultural zoning.

The Beruff/Lieberman partnership will carry with them a history of fighting Manatee County coastal policies.

They purchased the property in 2012 and sued the county after commissioners refused to grant them exceptions from coastal policies for a marina/hotel complex.

In February, the developers lost their case in the 2nd District Court of Appeal. They had asked the court to declare unconstitutional the county comp plan regulations that protect wetlands, restrict dredging and prohibit boat ramps.

In mid-October 2016, the developers erroneously bulldozed a conservation area south of the Aqua site.

An Oct. 31 survey of the Legends Bay property indicates 8,962 square-feet of “construction clearing, grubbing and earth moving” in the county’s 1.19-acre conservation area.

The developer submitted a draft vegetative restoration plan in January.

In a Feb. 14 letter, Joel Christian, Manatee County planning manager, recommended additional regrading, stabilization and maintenance, as well as two 10-foot cabbage palms and cluster or random placement of trees, ground cover and 18- to 20-foot native shrubs.

Christian wrote in an email March 24 the county and the developers were going back and forth on the restoration plan.

Since December 2016, more than 80 lots were purchased by a Beruff-controlled entity, Legends Bay Real Estate LLC, a subsidiary of Medallion Home.

Legends Bay resident Arlene Dukanauskas reported March 1 she is not pleased with the new ownership, which has “done very little to manage the community.”

She said her neighbors are displeased with the developers, who’ve failed to restore the conservation area destroyed in October 2016 and, for the past several months, allowed workers to burn trees and brush and create piles of blowing sand and dirt.

Calls to county officials have not helped, Dukanauskas added.

At the expected county hearings on Aqua in April and May, former Manatee County Commissioner Joe McClash is expected to urge county commissioners not to consider Aqua piecemeal, but wait for the Army Corps of Engineers permit decision as well as Swiftmud and DEP administrative challenge outcomes.

McClash and Suncoast Waterkeeper Inc., a nonprofit with a mission to protect the coastal waters, have appealed the developers’ late-filed wetlands Swiftmud permit, claiming additional wetlands at the site. That matter is set for a video hearing at 9 a.m. April 26 before Judge Bram D.E. Canter of the Florida Department of Administrative Hearings.

An appeal of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s “intent to issue” a mitigation bank permit at the site is set for another administrative law judge’s review Sept. 19-21 at a Bradenton location yet to be determined.

The county plan commission’s next meeting is set at 9 a.m. Thursday, April 13, in the first-floor chambers of the Manatee County Administration Building, 1112 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

WMFR dedicates Station 3 to retired chief … and celebrates!

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WMFR pulls out all the stops — its gear and some fire-safety bounce house activities for kids — for the open house that followed the dedication of Station 3 to former Chief Andy Price. Station 3, known as Station 1 during Price’s administration, served as the district’s main office and commission meeting quarters. Islander Photo: Bonner Joy
WMFR Station 3 is geared up to greet the community at the March 25 dedication and open house. Islander Photo: Bonner Joy
Retired West Manatee Fire Rescue Chief Kenneth A. “Andy” Price Jr. stands March 25 next to the plaque dedicating Station 3 in his name at the WMFR open house, 6001 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Price said he was pleased to share the naming honor with his dad, Kenneth Price Sr. Islander Photos: Bianca Benedí
Retired Chief Andy Price sits in the front row with his family March 25 during the WMFR Station 3 dedication ceremony.
Reid Masterson, 5, practices rescuing a bunny doll March 25 at WMFR’s Station 3 open house.
Mia Golden, 11, takes a turn using a 6:1 pulley system to pull a golf cart up an incline March 25 at WMFR’s open house for Station 3.
Layla Quesenberry, 5, smiles as she stands in line for chips and burgers March 25 at the open house for WMFR Station 3.
Families explore the WMFR marine-rescue boat on display March 25 at WMFR’s Station 3 open house in Holmes Beach.
Retired WMFR Chief Andy Price addresses the crowd during the ceremonies March 25. Price worked and volunteered in the fire service for 35 years, including at WMFR and the former Anna Maria Fire Department before retiring in 2015.
Tim Chamberlain and Eric Baker tend to the grills at the rear of Station 3, serving burgers and dogs March 25 for the WMFR Station 3 open house.

Transportation planners announce new island shuttle

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Donna Dunio, executive director of the Aging in Paradise Resource Center, speaks March 24 to attendees of a conference on transportation for seniors on the barrier islands. Islander Photo: Bianca Benedí

New curb-to-curb shuttle services are coming to the barrier islands.

The second annual Transportation Awareness Day conference was held March 24 at the Aging in Paradise Resource Center, 6200 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key.

At the conference, Manatee County Area Transit planning manager Ryan Suarez announced a new shuttle service will be deployed between Coquina Beach and Longboat Key.

Beginning April 15, MCAT will offer a curb-to-curb shuttle service for $1.50 seven days a week, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Passengers can arrange for the service by calling 941-748-2317 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Trips must be arranged at least one day in advance. The service is limited to a one-way or round-trip service anywhere between Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach and Bay Isles Parkway on Longboat Key.

In addition to the MCAT shuttle announcement, the event also included presentations from representatives from the Sarasota-based ITNSuncoast, Longboat Limousine and Uber.

Absent from the event were representatives from Paradise Boat Tours, who were expected to announce development of a water taxi connecting Whitney Beach Plaza on Longboat Key to stops on Anna Maria Island.

The Aging in Paradise Resource Center can be reached at 941-383-6493 or www.aginginparadise.org.

Holmes Beach wins 1 Key Royale-Bert Harris case …

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The home at 626 Key Royale Drive remains vacant March 23, following a 12th Circuit judge ruling for the city. Islander Photos: Kathy Prucnell

The owners of 626 Key Royale failed to prove Holmes Beach burdened the use of their property. So there was no valid claim in this Anna Maria Island test of the Bert Harris Act.

Twelfth Circuit Judge Gilbert A. Smith Jr. entered a final judgment March 23 for the city and against the plaintiffs Leah Marie Enterprises LLC and Kathleen Morgan in an eight-page decision, which reviewed the dispute over the owners’ remodeling project.

The judge considered the testimony of 18 witnesses among other evidence and applied the Bert Harris Jr. Private Property Protection Act.

“The Bert Harris Act was intended to protect property owners affected by land-use changes, not from the interpretation of a building code,” Smith wrote.

The plaintiffs filed a claim and $319,479 appraisal in 2014 and followed with the Bert Harris lawsuit in March 2015.

Equitable claims seeking a court-ordered building permit were subsequently combined into the Bert Harris case but dismissed as unproven on the last day of a five-day trial in December 2016.

The judge reserved his decision until written arguments were submitted by the attorneys.

Clearwater attorneys Jay Daigneault and Erica Augello of Trask Daigneault LLP, assigned by the city’s insurer, the Florida League of Cities, argued the plaintiffs failed to bring a cognizable Bert Harris claim and blamed the plaintiffs’ problems on their contractor, who exceeded the scope of work.

Sarasota attorney David Johnson — the husband of Morgan — argued a 30-percent rule imposed by city’s building department limiting the roof and ceiling height created the Bert Harris claim.

A Florida Building Commission opinion sought by the plaintiffs agreed that the city’s application of the substantial damage rule was misapplied.

Nonetheless, according to the court’s decision, the plaintiffs’ claim under Bert Harris depends on whether the city acted to burden an existing property use or a vested right in real property.

The judge also wrote, “Plaintiffs’ claim that a subsequent review and reversal of a previous interpretation of the Florida Building Code could lead to liability under the Bert Harris Act is misplaced.”

“The city did not cause the property to be in an unfinished construction condition. The plaintiffs have the right to use the property as a single-family residence and the city has taken no action which burdened that right.”

Smith also said, “maybe most importantly,” the plaintiffs also failed to prove they complied with the pre-suit notice requirement of submitting a valid appraisal that supports the claim and demonstrates a loss in fair market value.

Noting there was no city act and no claim, Smith wrote, “Assuming, however, that there was an act by the city and it was when the plaintiffs’ designer met with city about their initial plans, the appraiser should have appraised the property on a specific date before construction began and then a specific date after construction would have been completed according to the plaintiffs’ initial plans.”

The plaintiffs brought another case in 2015 under the same facts, naming the city and former Mayor Carmel Monti, alleging fraud, defamation and negligence. The case was settled in January for $2,000.

Daigneault advised city officials of the judge’s Bert Harris decision in a March 22 email, pointing out the court retained jurisdiction to order fees and costs and the plaintiffs have 30 days to appeal.

“It is difficult to speculate whether they will appeal or not, but my impression is that to do so would be unwise,” Daigneault wrote, adding the statute would allow the city to recover attorneys’ fees dating back to March 2015.

 

… as another HB-Bert Harris claim goes to court

A Bert Harris claim for losses at a 75th Street property has taken a turn to the courthouse for resolution, according to a summons served March 23 to Holmes Beach Mayor Bob Johnson.

The claim filed under the Bert J. Harris Jr. Property Rights Protection Act is brought by three limited liability corporations for a home at 106 75th St. in the Residential-2 zone.

The plaintiffs are Swackhamer Investments VI, BMeehan Investments VI and KMeehan Investments VI. They are respresented by Fred Moore, attorney, of Blalock Walters, P.A., of Bradenton.

The corporations list managers Bronwyn Meehan and Leslie Swackhamer, both of Texas, and Katherine Meehan of Wallingford, Oxfordshire, U.K.

The lawsuit claims certain city ordinances amount to a “systematic approach to significantly restrict development rights within the R-2 zoning district.” These regulations include restrictions on living-area ratios and a duplex party wall requirement; increased setbacks for pools, patios and decks; lot coverage restrictions; a limit on duplexes of two bedrooms per unit; parking modifications; and occupancy limits. They are “collectively the development restrictions.”

The lawsuit maintains the property owners and their families — related to Albert Leach — purchased the property “long before the development regulations at issue were ever considered.”

According to the claim, the land value was diminished by $225,000 by the city’s development restrictions.

The city sent a settlement letter Feb. 16 offering no change to the development restrictions.

The LLCs are seeking relief in the form of a permanent exemption from the development restriction or an alternative, a payment for the diminished value as the court deems appropriate.

As of March 9, the city faced a total of $12.5 million in Harris Act claims.

Most claims allege losses in reasonable-investment backed expectations due to vacation rental ordinances passed in 2015-16.

Bradenton man arrested for DUI

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Ryne M. Johnson, 26

Pedestrians jumped out of harm’s way as they crossed Bridge Street at about 11:33 p.m. March 10.

Ryne M. Johnson, 26, of Bradenton, was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence and ticketed for failure to use due care toward a pedestrian.

Bradenton Beach Police Officers John Tsakiri and Steven Masi estimated Johnson’s 2010 Mercedes-Benz was traveling at 35-40 mph in the 15-mph zone. They pulled Johnson over at the Circle K, 103 Gulf Drive S., and called the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office to perform a DUI investigation.

MCSO Deputy Andrew Vanover reported Johnson showed signs of impairment and initiated a field-sobriety test. After Johnson swayed, stumbled and nearly fell multiple times, the test was discontinued, according to Vanover’s report.

Johnson was transported to the Manatee County jail, where he provided breath samples measuring 0.248, 0.222 and 0.246. The legal limit is 0.08. Johnson was later released on a $500 bond.

On March 21, the 12th Circuit Court State Attorney Office filed a formal DUI charge.

Johnson’s arraignment is set for 8:25 a.m., Monday, April 10, at the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

Anna Maria Mayor lobbies in Tallahassee

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Anna Maria Mayor Dan Murphy recounts to the city commission March 23 his experiences in Tallahassee, where he lobbied against bills that could rollback Anna Maria’s vacation rental ordinances. Islander Photo: Bianca Benedí

Anna Maria is now on Tallahassee’s radar.

That’s what Anna Maria Mayor Dan Murphy said March 23 at a city commission meeting, when he gave an update on two bills that could undo the city’s vacation rental regulations.

Murphy visited Tallahassee March 19-21, meeting with city lobbyist Chip Case, as well as multiple state elected officials to lobby against House Bill 425, introduced by Rep. Mike La Rosa, R-St. Cloud, and Senate Bill 188, introduced by Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota.

From Sunday to Tuesday, Murphy met with Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Manatee, Rep. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, and Rep. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota.

Galvano sits on the Rules Committee, where the bill was under review March 23.

Murphy said in his meeting with Galvano, which included a phone conversation with Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore, Galvano was supportive of city efforts to regulate vacation rentals.

According to Murphy, Galvano “thought the issue had been settled in 2014,” when the state legislation on governing vacation rentals was last amended.

Murphy said similar support was found from Boyd and Gruters, who both sit on the commerce committee, another committee where the bill will get a review, although Murphy added he couldn’t be sure how the representatives would vote.

On March 14, the House bill made it through an agriculture and property rights subcommittee with a 9-6 vote. It must pass two more committees before reaching the floor for a vote.

 

Anna Maria on the map

Thanks to efforts from Anna Maria Island residents, Murphy said, Anna Maria is now on the map in Tallahassee.     Senators and representatives have been inundated with calls, emails and letters from residents, in part due to the efforts of residents Amy Tripp and Ruth Uecker, who have been circulating petitions and calling other cities to mobilize opposition in a grassroots campaign against the bills.

According to Murphy, the only city mentioned by Steube when he addressed the Senate was Anna Maria.

“He didn’t talk about Flagler or Tallahassee…. He talked about us. And the reason is because we’ve been bombarding them,” Murphy said.

The mayor encouraged citizens to reach out to Boyd and Gruters.

Uecker, who has provided commissioners with updates on her lobbying efforts, said she would make her own visit March 28 to Tallahassee to testify against the bills.

City commissioners offered to reimburse Uecker for gas for her Tallahassee trip. “We’re very fortunate to have a resource like Ruth to carry the ball,” Murphy said.

The city of Anna Maria has updated its website, www.cityofannamaria.com, with contact information for Gruter and Boyd.

Bridge Street restaurant, loud music draw noise complaints

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The Freckled Fin, which sits on the northeast corner of the Bridge Street-Gulf Drive roundabout in Bradenton Beach, faces complaints for loud music after 10 p.m. from residential neighbors and other businesses. Islander File Photo

It appears not all the noise problems in Bradenton Beach originate with fun-loving vacationers in short-term rental homes.

Live entertainment at the Freckled Fin Restaurant, 101 Bridge St., has resulted in numerous noise complaints to the city.

At a March 16 meeting, the city commission unanimously voted to extend the noise ordinance for St. Patrick’s Day outdoor entertainment from 10 p.m. to midnight the weekend of March 17.

Email complaints about noise coming from the restaurant from other business owners and residents were sent March 20 to Bradenton Beach Mayor Bill Shearon, who responded and also passed them along to the city clerk and commissioners.

People frustrated with loud music and rowdy noisemakers from the restaurant even before the normal 10 p.m. cutoff wrote they have repeatedly complained to managers and the city, and nothing has been done to alleviate the problem.

Several of the emails to the city suggest the complainants were contemplating contacting the news media or hiring an attorney to deal with the matter.

Bradenton Beach Detective Sgt. Lenard Diaz responded in an email March 23 to eight complainants, the mayor and city commission, saying he spoke with Freckled Fin owners Scott and Jill Lubore.

Diaz wrote there were nine noise complaints filed with the city against the restaurant, from April 2016 through March 21, 2017.

He wrote that he told the Lubores the problem mostly is caused by doors to the restaurant being left open after 10 p.m., allowing music from inside to become a nuisance to neighbors.

According to the email from Diaz, the Lubore’s responded they were unaware of the problem. Diaz “strongly stressed” to the Lubores that under the city ordinance he could take action and arrest the restaurant manager if the excessive noise doesn’t stop.

Additionally, Diaz said in his email that BBPD officers would be spot-checking businesses in the area to make sure they comply with decibel-level restrictions.

Diaz concluded his email by saying any further complaints should be directed to Ward 4 Commissioner John Chappie or the BBPD.

Public input on Long Bar mitigation plan ends April 3

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A map submitted with the second prospectus for a mitigation bank on Sarasota Bay west of El Conquistador Parkway in unincorporated Manatee County shows where buoys would warn boaters of seagrass beds. Islander Graphic: Courtesy USACE

A plan to turn a natural area into a mitigation bank about 5 miles east of Cortez on Sarasota Bay depends on a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

April 3 is the last day the Corps will take public comment on Long Bar Pointe LLLP’s mitigation plan.

The plan is the second such proposal submitted by developers Carlos Beruff and Larry Lieberman.

The Corps rejected their first plan in September 2016, saying the bank would allow the developers to sell credits for mangrove trimming and seagrass restoration where none was needed alongside Aqua By The Bay — the Beruff/Lieberman development now in the Manatee County pipeline.

Under federal regulations, mitigation banks are to provide an ecological lift where the natural environment is being threatened.

The Corps initial rejection invited the developers to resubmit the prospectus to explain how federal rules are met and why there is a 100-foot gap between two parcels of their submerged lands.

The second prospectus was filed with the federal wetlands regulator Jan. 31.

Former Manatee County Commissioner Joe McClash, Suncoast Waterkeeper and Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage have been fighting the bank, calling it a developer ploy to build a high-density marina complex and dredge channels along a pristine shoreline.

Environmentalists say the seagrasses and mangroves already are protected by law.

McClash reiterated the concerns to the Corps March 13.

Cortez-based FISH voted its support the fight in January against the state wetlands regulator, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which gave a go-ahead to a second mitigation bank proposal in December 2016.

Both state and federal regulatory agencies are required to sign off on mitigation banks.

FISH is expected to restate its opposition to the Corps, according to vice president and former Manatee County Commissioner Jane von Hahmann.

On behalf of the developers, Alex D. Hoffner, of Eco Consultants Inc., wrote to the Corps in January that without the proposed mitigation bank and conservation easement, the mangrove fringe and submerged lands will be threatened by 56 docks, boardwalks and fishing piers, structures totaling 112,000 square feet and 7,504 pilings, which are allowable under state law.

As an alternative to the mitigation bank plan to trim 30 percent of the mangroves to a 12-foot height, Hoffner said the developer could receive permits to trim up to 65 percent of the mangrove swamps to a six-foot height.

“The ability of the applicant to obtain this authorization should be considered a threat to the resource, and further justification for the creation of the Long Bar Pointe Mitigation Bank,” Hoffner told the Corps.

The developers seek the Corps’ approval to sell 18.62 credits for a 263-acre bank. If approved, the mitigation bank will be open to developers from Charlotte, Sarasota and Manatee counties required to mitigate wetland destruction. Credits are expected to run $100,000-$200,000 for each acre of restoration.

The corps notice is found at www.saj.usace.army.mil/missions/regulatory/public-notices/article/1100828/saj-2016-01900-adt/.

Comments on the proposed mitigation bank should be submitted in writing to: District Engineer, Department of the Army, Jacksonville District Corps of Engineers, P.O. Box 4970, Jacksonville, FL 32232-0019, or via email: Amy.D.Thompson@usace.army.mil or fax to 904-232-1904.

For more information, call Amy Thompson at 904-232-3974 or email Amy.D.Thompson@usace.army.mil.