Peninsula Bay aims to bring a new kind of development to Manatee County that integrates the beautiful natural habitats of Palma Sola Bay with a relaxed resort community experience. In contrast to some historic patterns, Peninsula Bay will respect the coastline of Palma Sola Bay by conserving the lush mangroves along its shore. The view of the property from the bay will look much like it does today, with a natural frontage that is home to a variety of water species and birds.
Existing wetlands along Cortez Road will also be conserved along with other open space providing the community with a green “front door.” A marina at Peninsula Bay will provide new waterfront dining and boat storage options for the West Manatee community, while a boat ramp is planned to accommodate a water-oriented lifestyle for our neighbors.
The community will be designed for both residents and visitors to have a relaxed vacation experience, with the ability to walk from their homes or condos to food and entertainment options, or for a stroll along a marina boardwalk. Healthy lifestyles will be encouraged by a network of nature trails around a large internal lake that will be perfect for paddle boards and kayaks, with a launch provided to reach the bay waters.
Some key ideas in the plan for Peninsula Bay are:
- Diversity of Uses: A mix of waterfront marina shops, homes, and condos within the same general area promotes diverse activity and helps to create a relaxed, convenient vacation experience.
- Sense of Place: Quality architecture and urban design will combine to create a beautiful place at which people love to spend time and to revisit. Beauty, aesthetics, and comfort extend to building style, landscaping and streetscaping elements, as well as the use of open spaces and preserve areas.
- Healthy Lifestyle: An extensive natural trail network will provide views of the bay and natural conservation areas, as well as kayak and paddle board access to both the bay and lake.
Peninsula Bay will also support Manatee County’s new focus on Complete Streets. There are different approaches to Complete Streets, depending on specific circumstances, but general elements include wide sidewalks, bicycle lanes, comfortable and accessible public transportation stops, frequent and safe crossing opportunities, median islands, accessible pedestrian signals and ramps, narrower travel lanes, roundabouts, and more. The Complete Streets philosophy has been used successfully to help a number of communities get the most from their existing road capacity.
In Boulder Colorado, the city has invested in Complete Streets design for many years and has noted impressive results, including a nearly 14% reduction in the use of single-occupancy vehicles in work commutes. The city reports the number of people walking to work to be at three times the national average; their transit use is twice the national average; and their bicycle commuting share is 18 times the national average.
Complete Streets allow for a variety of transportation options, making it easier for children and older adults to get out and stay connected to the community. These approaches promote a safer environment for pedestrians, shortened traveling times, reduced congestion, and improved land use that creates an attractive combination of homes, buildings, and street design.