Village Green plans altered
by Tim W. McCann
Herald Staff Writer
BRADENTON - Village Green officials may have found a development that they like for their golf course.
They blasted a developer’s previous plans to build on the former golf course, nestled in the middle of their west Bradenton subdivision. But Roger Smith, president of the Village Green Homeowners Association, said neighborhood officials who saw the latest plan, for the most part, were impressed.
Smith said the new plan addresses concerns raised by Village Green residents over developer Lagoinvest Florida’s previous plans. The new plan, named The Seasons at Village Green, preserves more green space, puts fewer homes on the former golf course, offers more building designs and improves drainage, he said.
"I feel very good that the Lago people immediately made contact with us after the last meeting and seemed to be very interested in getting our input," Smith said. "They responded to us and I think it’s a win-win for everybody."
Smith said a committee of between 15-20 Village Green residents worked with Lagoinvest on its new plan. Details of the new site plan were published in the association’s monthly newsletter Friday.
The new plan calls for 149 single-family detached homes, 12 homes fewer than the last plan. The homes average about 1,800 square feet of living space and 2,500 square feet total under one roof - almost identical to the subdivision’s existing homes.
Planned amenities include a walking trail along the project’s perimeter for all Village Green residents, a gated entrance, private roads and extensive landscaping chosen with the help of current residents.
Scott Clark, president of Lagoinvest, said the plan’s density of about 3.5 units per acre falls far short of the allowable 10 units per acre.
Clark added that Lagoinvest hired Zoller Najjar & Shroyer LC, the engineer that helped design the Village Green development in the 1970s.
The plan is expected to go before the Bradenton Planning Commission in December for a first public review, then the city council in January. Clark said he hopes to break ground in April with a roughly two-year buildout.
City planners and residents criticized earlier site plans, and the commission rejected one version at its July meeting. More than 900 Village Green residents signed a petition asking the commission to reject it.
Clark said he enjoyed working with the community, despite the previous negative reactions.
"It’s their neighborhood," he said. "You have to take them into consideration. I predict we’ll have a number of buyers who are currently in Village Green."
Bradenton resident Jack Watson sold the 42-acre golf course after 25 years of ownership to a real estate investor in October 2004. Lagoinvest bought the land earlier this year for $5 million.
The overwhelming majority of residents want the land to stay a golf course, but many admitted that’s unlikely because they expect someone to build on it. But they said they want a developer to restrict homes to single-family, one-story houses with designs compatible with the rest of the community.
Tim W. McCann, Bradenton and Palmetto city government reporter, can be reached at 745-7080, ext. 2620, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Author Contact Info: Tim W. McCann
Herald Staff Writer