A recurring theme in many of the negative responses we get to our vision of Bradenton’s future is that new developments are the reason Bradenton’s population spikes and traffic increases. We feel it is important to point out that this is a common misconception; the fact of the matter is, it’s actually the other way around: it is growth that drives development.
The 2012 Census Report tells us that Bradenton grew the fastest in our region by adding 1,145 residents from the previous year… an uptick of 2.3 percent. This surge occurred despite little new housing having been built and no new lifestyle destinations (malls, parks, tourist attractions) having been developed that year. Clearly, new development was not the reason for Bradenton’s recent growth.
Our hunch is that great weather, beautiful beaches, challenging golf courses and just being an overall great place to raise a family is driving growth in the Bradenton area – and we see no end to that trend in the foreseeable future!
Far from being the problem, responsibly planned communities – like that which we envision in Lake Flores – are a necessary response to growth that is already coming. We believe that through modern, mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly planning, our community will absorb those new residents and mitigate impacts on traffic and infrastructure in surrounding areas. Furthermore, our vision for Lake Flores is to provide new people spaces – parks, trails, shopping and services – that will benefit the entire community.
So, we must dispute the logic of absolute limits on development and re-double our efforts to get it right, acting on faith that the future we believe in will surely come. In the words of poet Pablo Neruda, “You can cut all the flowers, but you cannot keep Spring from coming.“