Since the launch of BradentonsFuture.com and our Facebook page in February, more than a thousand people have visited and joined with us in a conversation about the future of our SW Bradenton property with questions, comments and suggestions. Thank you for participating!
Though our engagement with the community is still in its early stages, it is immediately apparent that some in the community believe that any development is inherently bad and should be stopped. Let there be no confusion on this point: we strongly disagree and want to make it clear that we believe the right kind of development is, in fact, the solution to many of the growing pains that are at the root of this “no-growth” sentiment.
Traffic is a major concern, and we submit that pedestrian-friendly community design – the moving of residents internally through trails and parkways for walking, bicycling, and EV shuttles – while offering neighboring residents convenient work-live-play destinations that reduce the demand on major traffic arteries, is the best answer to it. Continuing to farm our land offers no future benefit to the community, nor would the continuation of farming address environmental impacts such as chemical and nutrient runoff and the growing need for water conservation. As evidenced in the careful and deliberate actions of our county planners, southwest Bradenton has been preparing for growth and development for many years, and the infrastructure to support it – roads, utilities, and water treatment – was put in place long ago.
Of one thing we can all be certain: many more people are coming to live in SW Bradenton in the coming years, and just like those of us who live here now, they want to be near the water and beaches. Our dialog with the community has never been about debating that issue, nor has it been about whether or not to develop our property. For us, this public conversation is about soliciting constructive community input in order to achieve the best possible outcome for our property – one that accommodates growth intelligently and mitigates its impact while enhancing quality of life in the area.
In the coming months, we will begin to share the details of this plan as it comes together. We will continue to ask for your feedback and we will continue to listen. As lifelong Floridians, we know better than anyone that growth cannot be stopped. To paraphrase from Field of Dreams, “They will come, so build it right.” We remain committed to the premise that these new residents are indeed coming to SW Bradenton, and that those of us who care most about our quality of life must be the ones building Bradenton’s future – the future we believe in.