Will county develop the middle of a river?
It’s hard to imagine a worse place to build houses than smack in the middle of an AQUATIC preserve.
Here’s this breathtakingly beautiful, skinny little spit (only 300 feet wide!) running out into the middle of the Little Manatee River [see aerial image] — full of pines, palms, mangroves and wildlife [see photos] — so naturally a developer wants to bulldoze hundreds of trees, eliminate the wildlife, haul in fill, and stick houses on it.
Despite massive citizen opposition, this developer previously won the county’s permission to build 22 houses on the landward neck of the spit. Now they want to extend the destruction all the way out onto the rest of the spit — the part sticking farther out into the river — just to build 8 more houses.
The Little Manatee River is an undammed, dynamic, tidal river that floods frequently. It would be irresponsibly negligent for the County to allow more houses here, in the middle of this river, in the Coastal High Hazard Area, placing more families in such a dangerous position, risking higher insurance rates for all of us.
The developer is using “Biological Research Associates” — the same firm they used before, which I wrote about here, after the Times exposed them as “biostitutes.” Last time, these paid environmental experts said it was a fine idea to destroy the sand pine scrub housing 20 gopher tortoises. This time, they’re trying to portray the spit as nothing but a wad of Brazilian Pepper. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The Little Manatee River is designated by the state as an Outstanding Florida Water, and this part of the river lies within the Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve. The little islands and spits in the river are part of the natural furniture of the Little Manatee, and they provide important wildlife habitat and other ecological functions. This pristine river is a regional asset, teeming with life, precisely because it has not yet been totally urbanized.
We shouldn’t trade these mangroves & pines for docks & lawns, nor trade this wildlife habitat for suburban housing. If you agree, join us to oppose this project at the Public Hearing:
Tuesday, April 7, 9:00 a.m., at County Center.
See the Sierra Club website for more details about the hearing and the issues involved.
Our county commissioners will only protect our environment if we show them that it is important to us.