April 15-- Apr. 15--MANATEE COUNTY -- With rents and home prices continuing to rise, two workforce housing developments are getting a favorable reception from Manatee County government.
On May 2, the County Commission will consider plans for Oaks at Creekside, an apartment complex, and Maple Ridge, a subdivision of single-family homes.
The Planning Commission and county planning staff recommended approving both projects last week.
Housing Trust Group, which has built numerous affordable housing complexes in Florida including the upcoming The Addison apartments in east Bradenton, intends to construct and manage Oaks at Creekside.
The apartment complex would consist of four three-story buildings on 16.3 acres at 3505 53rd Ave. E., Bradenton.
Financed with federal tax credits from the Florida Housing Finance Corp., the project must meet affordability criteria for 50 years, HTG development manager Dilia Tabora said.
The 96 apartments will include one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging from 673 to 1,150 square feet. Rents will be priced for households with incomes ranging from $15,000 to $42,000.
Amenities will include a clubhouse, picnic and barbecue pavilion, swimming pool, playground and gazebos.
Len and April Dacas, who own a home in the Manatee Oaks subdivision to the north, told planning commissioners they want assurances the development will not interfere with their backyard privacy.
The developers said the closest building to the north property line would be 150 feet away.
Kelly Helm of At the HELM Property Management told planning commissioners that most homeowners in Manatee Oaks received no notice about the development proposal. She raised concerns about whether the rental complex could generate problems with noise and crime.
County planner Margaret Tusing said HTG complied with county requirements by mailing notices to 55 property owners within 500 feet of the proposed development and to Manatee Oaks' homeowner association, as well as posting a sign on the site and paying for a newspaper legal notice about the project.
Tabora stressed that the tenants will be working people such as "teachers, teacher assistants, young police officers." They will be an asset to the neighborhood compared with the "squatters" whom she said now occupy the undeveloped site, which is choked with nuisance vegetation such as Brazilian peppers.
Rinehart Homes intends to build Maple Ridge, a 221-home subdivision northeast of 24th Avenue East and 29th Street in Palmetto.
An agreement with the county calls for 80 percent of the homes to meet workforce housing criteria.
A typical home will be 1,300 square feet with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a two-car garage. It will be priced at $176,000.
According to the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee, the median price of a single-family home in Manatee as of February was $298,500. At times it has surpassed $300,000.
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