Manatee County Planning Commission Voted 4 to 2 to DENY the Comprehensive Plan Text Amendment reducing wetlands protections in a time when wetlands and our waters are experiencing significant trouble with red tide, algae, sea grass loss, staving manatees, etc. Thursday, August 10 the Manatee County Planning Commission did the right thing to deny to recommend these changes.
The Manatee County Commissioners do NOT have to follow the Planning Commission recommendations and frequently don’t. We need a BIG turn out on Thurs, 8/17 and TONS of comments and emails.Speak or not, wear blue, for water, so we can spot a supporter.
Here is what you can do:
- Attend and comment at the Thursday, August 17 Board of County Commissioners Land Use Meeting. 9:00 AM TIME CERTAIN Item # 6 – PA-23-06/Ordinance 23-66 – County-Initiated Comprehensive Plan Text Amendment – Wetland Protection The Agenda has meeting information. IT IS VITALLY IMPORTANT THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE THERE, WHETHER OR NOT YOU SPEAK.
- If you will be speaking may sign up after 9AM, Wednesday. You can speak even if you do not sign up in advance, but we recommend you sign up to speak here.
- Leave a written comment on the public record for the August 17 meeting. Written comments for the August 17 Board of County Commissioners Land Use meeting must be submitted here, www.mymanatee.org/comment. The deadline for comments is Tuesday, August 15, at 2:00 p.m.
- Send an email to each individual commissioner, for the first time or again. With the Planning Commission rejecting the change, there is even more reason for this not to be approved by the Commissioners.
- Call or text each county commissioner
- Meet in person with your county commissioner and/or the commissioners at large.
To ensure your voice is heard, use at least 2 of the above methods.
Spread the word:
- Forward this notice to everyone you can think of in Manatee and Sarasota Counties and ask for their help.
- Post a link to https://lwvmanatee.org/wetlands-action/
Why this is vitally important to our county to act now to prevent changes which will permanently harm wetlands and water sources:
We’re asking you to take these actions to ensure that this threat to our quality of life, local economy and waterways does not become a reality. Manatee County has proposed removing policies of the Comprehensive Plan and sections of the Land Development Code to allow for the destruction of our wetlands and reduction of wetland buffers to negate their effectiveness in trapping runoff water and removing pollutants. In the face of worsening algae blooms and red tide it is particularly imperative that we protect our wetlands.
Although the Planning Commission voted 4 to 2 to reject the proposed changes, the Ordinance is to be considered in the August 17 Commissioner Land Use Meeting. The County Commissioners have recently approved many new housing developments in areas known to be in our water shed and some are close to water sources that are, or in the future will be, our drinking water supply.
This wetlands ordinance change is NOT an issue that will be covered by the advertised long term comprehensive plan review. The commissioners have chosen this issue to fast-track approval of and not be part of the review and revision of the Comprehensive Plan. Once this is approved, it is immediately in effect and not part of that review.
The surrounding counties of Hillsborough and Sarasota have 50 ft buffers as we currently do, not 15 ft as proposed. Their water and water supply is affected by Manatee County’s protection of water or lack of protections.