Peninsula Bay Plan Brings Traffic Solutions

Over the past 30 plus years, the Preston family has a long history of providing for West Bradenton traffic improvement projects as the community grew. There is a road-widening project right now (53 Ave) that is an example of this involvement. There are many others to cite, i.e. El Conquistador Parkway, 75th Street west, Cortez Road, and others.

beach ridersThe tourism industry for Manatee County is a billion dollar plus industry that supports many businesses and families in our community. The beaches just happen to be the number one attraction for many Bradenton area visitors and residents. There are 2 bridges that are over 50 years old and lead to that amenity which have sustained the growth of the community. Those bridges are obsolete and need replacement as the draw bridges contribute to traffic congestion by opening frequently during the busy season. We spend millions of dollars pumping sand on the beach to accommodate more people and millions of dollars promoting the area as a vacation destination all over the world.

water taxiEven though the lion’s share of the traffic estimated in the future will not be Peninsula Bay’s traffic, the development will make positive contributions to the transportation network in the following ways:

  1. Access to the water, and therefore, an alternative mode in the form of water transportation to the beach and surrounding recreational opportunities.
  2. A resort destination atmosphere with waterfront hospitality and dining attractions, which are presently only available on Anna Maria Island. Providing these alternative destinations has the potential of capturing traffic for the area before it goes to the beach.
  3. New roads providing better and safer ingress and egress for residents already living adjacent to Peninsula Bay.
  4. Traffic impact fees generated by the project will be spent in the vicinity of the development. Understand that impact fees paid in east county cannot be spent in west county.
  5. Additional roadway improvements may be required for final site plan approval to meet concurrency and/or operational safety.

Additionally, the County and the Lake Flores development have conceived of a park and ride concept to get people to the island via mass transit and are continuing to meet to make this happen.

bicycles on trailExtending a multi model trail system to the beach has also been discussed as a possible way for the immediate area to mitigate traffic within the Cortez vicinity and, when the Cortez bridge is rebuilt, should connect Cortez to the beach with a quick transportation option that is not easily available to those living farther away.

Furthermore, the Local Development Agreement (LDA) between Manatee County and Manatee Fruit Company in 2011 will provide the assurance that both the Lake Flores and Peninsula Bay developments will contribute the to the County roadway network by improving the system. This agreement represents the foresight that was conceived, many years ago, for the eventual development of these properties consistent with the County’s comprehensive plan.

Lastly, but of significant importance, our market research firm, Robert Charles Lesser and Company, (RCLCO), completed an economic analysis for both Lake Flores and Peninsula Bay. Both projects combined would provide ad valorem taxes to the county and school board in excess of $15 million every year after complete build out. The Lake Flores and Peninsula Bay projects not only pay for themselves in terms of county services, but they provide a significant surplus each and every year – dollars that can be directed to further infrastructure improvements.

12 comments on “Peninsula Bay Plan Brings Traffic Solutions

  1. treich43

    2. You seem to be omitting the several restaurants in Cortez village. A Peninsula Bay restaurant will actually harm those existing places.

    Re 53rd, 75th and Conquistador: Are you saying the Prestons “donated” land for these expansions? What about eminant domain?

    1. Palmetto Companies

      Thank you for your question. Yes, the Preston’s have cooperated with the county on the road expansion projects without the use of eminent domain. A Local Development Agreement with the county was approved in 2011 and is the basis for further cooperation on Lake Flores and Peninsula Bay. Presently, the widening of 53rd Avenue West and a utility project along Cortez Road are evidence of this agreement and the cooperation.

  2. Jane von Hahmann

    “Over the past 30 plus years, the Preston family has a long history of providing for West Bradenton traffic improvement projects as the community grew. ”

    Yes you have and most if not all improvement participation was mandated through development orders approved by the County Commission in the past and in areas with little to no existing traffic issues. . This is not the case for the Pen Bay Development location. This year we who live in the Village were literally prisoners in our homes for 5 months, 7 days a week from 11 AM (or earlier) till 3 PM. If we left our home during those hours we could not return without incurring a 30 – 90 minute return time due to beach traffic on Cortez Rd! Your development is proudly professing to be a RESORT / SECOND HOME development which means you are catering to the very population that will exacerbate and already unbearable situation!

    “Additionally, the County and the Lake Flores development have conceived of a park and ride concept to get people to the island via mass transit and are continuing to meet to make this happen. ”

    This park and ride is a solution that I believe, should be part of the picture and I believe as a past Commissioner that it should be stipulated in the Development Order so it has some possibly of becoming reality not just talk!

    I am tried of seeing Manatee County always in a reactionary mode! We need to be pro-active. Answers need to come before development begins. I realize as Property owners you have a right to develop however I also believe that I as an existing resident and tax payer have the right to demand that I be protected as well. Protected from additional growth that will surely impact not only our quality of life but possibly our safety when it comes to Hurricane evacuation (all your residents are in an evacuation A zone) and God forbid as we continue to add traffic in this area to protect my health and safety should something happens and an ambulance need to have emergency access and precious time is lost due additional traffic on an already failing system!

    Hope your visitors and home owners will stay within you Resort Development but reality seems to point to that is a highly unlikely scenario.

    TRAFFIC IS THE ISSUE and your ideas are good but I don’t see them addressing the issue and your own traffic study has Cortez Rd from 119th St W to the Beach as failing at build out not just 5 months of the year as it does now but all year. Just my two cents worth.

    1. Palmetto Companies Post author

      Thank you for your comments. We respect and appreciate your experience and longevity in this community. As you correctly pointed out, the Preston family has a long tradition of partnering with the county, and we will continue in that spirit of cooperation as we move forward with our vision for Peninsula Bay. You have raised several issues that need to be addressed:

      1. Prior to making the decision for land development and having any approved plans, Manatee Fruit Company and the Prestons have voluntarily supported county requests over the years by supplying land for infrastructure projects such as fire stations and right-of-way’s for roads, utilities and sidewalks. Working in tandem with county growth around the property was never a requirement, however the family saw the need to be involved through providing land for county and public use. Some of these lands were contributed decades ago without compensation. This history reflects their commitment to be part of the solution. This pattern will continue with Peninsula Bay by providing additional impact fees, ad valorem tax revenue for the county and school system, SWTIF funding, etc.

      2. We recognize that there are congestion issues on Cortez Road. Our beautiful islands draw thousands of visitors every year, providing a vital boost to the local economy. Manatee County has experienced significant growth out east, and those residents drive on area roads, and even through Cortez as they head to the beach with their families. The potential traffic impact of Peninsula Bay is very small in comparison.

      3. We are not able, as private citizens and property owners, to make any direct improvements to Cortez Road. This responsibility lies with FDOT and the county, and our role is to work collaboratively with them as the process allows. Which we have done and will continue to do.

      4. Our development plan for Peninsula Bay does make accommodations for traffic improvements to the extent that we are able to do so. We have designed an end-to-end access road and three ingress/egress points that will provide alternate traffic routes for our immediate neighbors and future residents.

      5. We continue to support the idea of a park-and-ride system and look forward to discussions with the county on the topic. Both Peninsula Bay and Lake Flores have been designed to be walkable communities with multimodal trails that encourage a reduced dependency on automobiles.

      6. We are proud of our vision for a resort-style community that will offer on-site amenities and activities. We do imagine that our residents, their guests and neighbors will be able to enjoy a variety of leisure activities without having to leave the property.

      7. The idea of being “protected from additional growth” is unlikely. Growth and change are inevitable. “Smart growth” is the only solution for our local economy and lifestyle. We are proponents of responsible growth, as evidenced by our decision not to build to the maximum density allowed by county guidelines.

      9. Peninsula Bay offers significant benefits that many people in the community have spoken in favor of, including:

      • Potential increase to property values
      • Additional access to the water and recreation
      • New homes in an area with little residential construction
      • A community built to today’s more stringent codes and coastal setbacks
      • Protection and improvement for the waterfront and mangroves

      Peninsula Bay is in the beginning stages of development and build-out is likely to be at least 10 years away. This allows ample time for the proactive stance that you advocate. We have come to the table with solutions to potential traffic impacts before development occurs, just as you suggest. We look forward to working with our neighbors and following through on county-led initiatives that were laid down years ago.

  3. Don Langemoe

    I a, sorry that I cannot support your development proposal. It is your property and in the norm, you should be able to develop it as you wish. However, development must be respectful of the existing neighborhood. The Cortez Road corridor and Anna Maria Island are not the norm. They are already an abnormal problem. What part of the word “capacity” do you and your consultants not understand. For longer and longer times each year, Cortez Road and Gulf Drive are at capactiy, Widening Cortez Road will not help. The Cortez bridge has only two lanes. A funnel will only handle so much regardless of how wide the mouth of the funnel. Widening Cortez Road merely provides more stacking area for cars to wait to cross the bridge. Widening the bridge will not help. Again, it only creates more stacking area for cars to reach the 2 lanes of Gulf Drive on our island. There is no way to widen Gulf Drive without destroying much of the island’s current development. And for what? So more people can drive up and down the length of the island? The area you are developing is like a balloon at capacity. Force more air into it and it explodes. Please understand that i am not against all development. I do, however, not wish to see development that disrupts and destroys the very thing that people love by overwhelming it — by loving it to death..

    1. palmetto

      Thank you for your comment. We acknowledge that traffic flow is a challenge in the Cortez area, but strongly disagree that there are no solutions that could improve the flow of traffic while allowing future growth. On the contrary, we submit that well-planned growth and the economic benefits it will bring, combined with responsible infrastructure improvements, are the solutions needed to meet the inevitable challenges of growth in this area.

      Our plan will place less stress on the roads than one might assume.  Our traffic studies even with the additional building, still reflect that most of the traffic to and from Cortez and the islands are traveling from outside areas.  Florida Department of Transportation and the county are in the process of working on various options to address traffic concerns.
      As property owners, we have worked with highly experienced consultants to create a vision that will complement the existing communities and to create value by improving the water, preserving the shoreline and protecting the mangroves.  All this will be accomplished  through building away from the shore and creating a pleasing neighborhood with opportunities for residents and neighbors to remain on the property.
      Our goal is to continue to provide different modes of transportation and connect people to the water through working with the various county departments and the state.

  4. Brian connolly

    Adding all this developement to an already congested area will only lead to acess and egress to the beaches impossible at certaon times of the year which in turn will hurt tourism

  5. Bob Mann

    OK! I will no longer be here after build out. 10 plus years. Hope you do right by our kids and grandkids. Yours will be rich. Mine WILL be stuck in traffic! How will that make you feel?

  6. McCartney

    What effective egress plans are there for the added volume on an already over-loaded Cortez Road during emergencies?

    1. McCartney

      I am gratified that any earlier question is registered. However, having never received a reply to my question, thought I might revisit the issue hoping it had been considered and a solution arrived at. As a general supporter, I have just that one question and, with all due respect, would hope that the goodwill and effort to respond would do more to answer the question vs. tallying the # of times it is asked.

      1. palmetto

        Thank you for your question on ingress and egress. We appreciate your interest and support. The GDP plan proposes three entrances into Peninsula Bay. We will work with the county to provide safe ingress and egress at all entrances. If warranted, a traffic signal would be encouraged at the easternmost entry, which is at the approximate location of 107th street. There is already a signal at 119th street. These two signalized entries would also benefit the residents in Sagamore Estates and Sunny Shores by providing an opportunity for safer ingress and egress compared to their only non-signalized entry today, which is 115th street.

  7. Ruben Goff

    I have been following this development since inception and I am utterly convinced that Bradenton has a jewel in the awaiting here. Lake Flores and Peninsula Bay have the ability to forever transform West Bradenton: which is in desperate need of change! The plans are always well thought-out. The research is ever taking place and it appears that the studies and solutions provided are top-notch! There has to be a balance-sustainable growth in downtown, East county, South and North county and West county if this area is to thrive in this new century. I think the development of both of this ventures will start the process for the West corridor of Manatee County and ultimately will increase development in the South County region. This county has so much more to offer. The intelligence of these two developments appear paramount to continued, sustainable, intelligent growth.


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