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Environmentalists fear proposed policy change will impact coastal habitats in Manatee County

MANATEE COUNTY – Manatee County commissioners are set to consider an amendment to the county’s comprehensive plan in a land use meeting this Thursday afternoon [April 21]. The proposed changes are gaining the attention of local environmental groups.

County Administrator Dr. Scott Hopes told 8 On Your Side the county’s Peril of Flood plan has not been in compliance with state law since 2015. He says the proposed changes being brought before the board Thursday will change that.

He says the amendments will allow for future technology to help mitigate the impacts of flooding and sea level rise. According to him, the language in the policy recommendation was taken out of Florida statutes.

The policy recommendation reads as follows:

“Consider new development and redevelopment that employs site development techniques that reduces flood losses and claims made under flood insurance policies. These techniques may employ methods that withstand inundation and minimize flood damage through environmentally sensitive flood-proofing techniques and strategies.”

Under implementation mechanisms, the policy recommendation states, “coordination with federal, state, local and other regulatory agencies ensuring all necessary permitting, including but not limited to a Conditional Letter of Map Revision, prior to commencement of development process”.