The following General Project Description is excerpted from the Peninsula Bay General Development Plan as submitted to Manatee County for staff review. We are sharing it here because we believe it provides a good, comprehensive overview of the development.
“C. GENERAL PROJECT DESCRIPTION
1. Major Elements
Peninsula Bay is a project of approximately 358 acres proposed for west Manatee County. The vision for Peninsula Bay is an eco-friendly waterfront fishing village and resort, building on the character of the Cortez community while integrating new vacation and living options. This site is part of the Southwest TIF District which indicates it is in an area that the County sees as a prime location for development and redevelopment. The site is an infill property on land that is primarily already disturbed and there is no significant proposed clearing of mangroves. Our team understands that the ecosystem supported by the mangroves is part of the appeal of this site and it is essential that it be preserved for the future of Peninsula Bay and Manatee County.
Peninsula Bay will also provide significant recreational opportunities for residents of West Bradenton including a small marina area with restaurants and water-related retail overlooking boat berths. The installation of a tidal connection to Sarasota Bay has the potential to improve flushing and thus water quality in the system connected to the new marina. An important element of the project is the opportunity for a boat ramp and boat trailer parking available to the general public. Manatee County has been seeking an opportunity for a public boat ramp in this area for some time and it has been difficult to identify a suitable, available location. The Peninsula Bay boat ramp site is the perfect location for this public amenity, accessible from a major road, insulated from existing neighborhoods by the new Peninsula Bay neighborhood which will be designed to accommodate it, and using a channel to the Bay that is already existing for most of its length.
Peninsula Bay will enhance West Bradenton by providing new living and recreation options. It is being conceived as a very special waterfront resort community with its own unique and distinctive ambiance of quiet, narrow streets that are attractively landscaped and invite pedestrian activity and biking. The community will be designed to encourage residents to kayak, walk, and bicycle with streets designed to slow traffic and homes located close to sidewalks and paths. This is consistent with the County’s How Might We Grow Vision which recommends:
- “Remove barriers to mixed uses, along with a mixture of building types, supported by pedestrian-friendly, walkable communities along transit routes.”
- “Infrastructure improvements will likely focus on increasing opportunities for walking, cycling and transit.”
- “Remove barriers for more urban-like characteristics (i.e., greater building heights, setbacks/build-to lines, mix of uses horizontally & vertically…”
The current rezoning request is consistent with the intensity of the current Comprehensive Plan designation as a Res-6 and Res-9. The current request is to rezone to PDMU which is intended to allow a flexible approach to encourage innovative land use techniques and new housing typologies, creative urban design, environmental protections, and the judicious use of sustainable development practices and principles for large scale developments. This development proposal’s infill location is also consistent with Manatee County Comprehensive Plan’s goal of limiting urban sprawl, providing a predictable and functional urban form, encouraging development in the existing core areas, and using existing public facilities in a cost efficient manner.
The proposed rezoning application is accompanied by a General Development Plan which would allow 1,800 housing units, 9 acres of water-dependent and water-enhanced commercial development, 3.5 acres of Marina-oriented lodging, a bed and breakfast, 101 boat berths, and 2.7 acres of dry boat storage. Peninsula Bay’s development program also sets aside 83 acres of wetlands and 96 acres of native uplands, open spaces, wetland buffers, and ponds, as well as 13 acres to accommodate a publically accessible boat ramp and marina basin. Overall site will include over 50% open and natural spaces.
In its final form, the Peninsula Bay project will house 140.1 acres of residential development and 290,000 square feet of commercial, hotel, and dry boat storage uses. Other uses include preserved open areas and wetland / coastal buffers. The project will be guided by a set of Design Requirements that support a walkable, water-oriented resort community.“