Category Archives: Q&A

Q1: What is a mixed use community?

In a broad sense it is any urban, or village development or even a single building that blends a combination of residential, commercial, cultural, institutional, or industrial uses where those functions are integrated and provides pedestrian connections.

Some benefits of a mixed use community might include:

  • Greater housing variety in types of structures and price points
  • Reduced distances between housing, workplaces, retail, and other destinations providing less travel time and more at home/leisure time
  • More compact development allowing for increased open space for parks and trails
  • Stronger neighborhood character for increased safety and security
  • Pedestrian and bicycle-friendly environments

1. Business Geography and New Real Estate Market Analysis, Grant Ian Thrall, p.216
2. Quality Growth Toolkit: Mixed-use Development, Atlanta Regional Commission. p.2 (PDF)
3. Planning and Community Health Research Center: Mixed Use Development, American Planning Assoc.

Q2: Where in Manatee County might the best place be for a mixed use community to be developed?

In 2010, the Manatee county Commission designated the 1300 plus acres of Manatee Fruit Company land in SW Manatee county a PDMU (Planned Development Mixed Use) for future development.

Other actions were taken by the County in 2013 which further indicated that the land was best suited for a Mixed Use designation.

Those actions were:

  1. Creation of an Urban Service Area (USA) in the South West sector of the County which included the Manatee Fruit Company land. This area was so identified because of already existing infrastructure such as roads, water treatment facilities, sidewalks and power lines.
  2. Created the “How Will We Grow Study” with much public input that recognizes the need for thoughtful development in this area citing the infill nature of the land in the middle of existing infrastructure that allows the County to get more value out of money already spent.
  3. Commissioned a study by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) that identified areas within the county, specifically the southwest sector for targeted investment citing the strengths of IMG’s world-wide reputation and the available land of Manatee Fruit company.

Q3: Why is a mixed use community the best answer to development in this location?

As opposed to the recent trend of developing automobile centric sub divisions, a mixed use community combining the aspects of live, work and play within defined borders, makes the best use of the available land and can provide the opportunity for revitalization in an area of the south west county area that has seen a devaluation of housing stock, increased rental properties and a decline in retail over time while other areas of the county have done just the opposite.

Furthermore, because of the location of IMG relative to the property and the infill nature of the land due to already existing infrastructure surrounding the current farmland, the location offers an unprecedented opportunity to capitalize on the county’s need for revitalization of the existing aging surrounding infrastructure.

A mixed use community combines:

  • Employment centers with commercial uses
  • Neighborhood retail
  • A variety of residential housing options in varying prices
  • Connectivity by alternative means of transportation

Q4: How does the Lake Flores vision fit the criteria of a mixed use community?

Recently, our requests for zoning and a General Development Plan were filed with Manatee County in which the Lake Flores vision takes into account the principles prescribed by Manatee County government under the Planned Development Mixed Use (PDMU) designation placed on the Lake Flores property in 2010

In this designation, the county requires that the overall site be developed with areas for retail, commercial, residential, employment centers, and other research or corporate uses. Neighborhoods shall have interconnectivity and not be isolated development pods dedicated to a single use. Rather neighborhoods should be easily accessible to employment centers, activity centers, retail and town centers so that shops and services can be accessed by a series of foot paths, trails and sidewalks. Care should be given to provide adequate lighting and signage with separation between pedestrians and traffic through the arrangement of buildings and parking lots to encourage residents and visitors to walk between places.