Gamble Creek Village is a vision for the future of Northeast Manatee Country—a self-contained community, integrated into the agricultural surroundings, with low environmental impact.
The Gamble Creek Village concept takes the forward-looking rural village approach to land use. ‘Rural villages’ are a planning concept that are recognized, applauded and sought after throughout the U.S. for their thoughtful approach to land use, conservation, and community development.
Gamble Creek Village embraces traditional small-town character by encouraging clustered housing which allows for the preservation of native habitats and open spaces, and the development of recreational opportunities with a closer relationship to nature.
The 'village' concept offers the benefit of focused growth to share the benefits of more efficient delivery of services, with schools, retail, recreational amenities, employment opportunities, water and sewer; it is the antidote to urban sprawl which the existing Ag/R designation for the property permits. As currently designated, the County will have to provide services to a sprawling area without the benefit of the additional tax revenue generated by a planned village that can grow with market needs and demands for the next 30 years.
As a self-sustaining community, Gamble Creek Village combines the amenities of a rural farming community with the convenience and latest technologies of a modern neighborhood with schools, retail, recreational features, such as trails and parks, employment opportunities and office space.
Conceived with the principle of “complete streets” that create a safe environment for pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, the plan will reduce the need for traffic trips outside of the village, reducing potential impacts on the surrounding roadway network.
The vision is of a community that encourages inter-generational living -- a complete, vibrant village, not an isolated gated subdivision.
The current Ag/R designation for this property provides NO guarantee of open space or agricultural use. Any residential development under this designation would be on individual private wells and septic tanks which can pose harm to our environment. Gamble Creek Village concentrates development into an agriculturally oriented village with a very large open space/agricultural area around the perimeter, unlike any other in Manatee County. The higher densities and intensities in the Village center are expected to support the retail, restaurants and Village uses, much like a small town.
Florida Statutes actually encourage the consideration of "new towns" as a method of discouraging urban sprawl. Gamble Creek Village limits urban sprawl to a greater extent than the current Ag/R category.
Gamble Creek Village provides for a mixture of uses instead of single-use, low-density development. This provides for greater protection of natural resources, preserves more open space and public lands and provides for greater protection of agricultural resources.
The land area is more than 9-square miles. Housing is capped at 7,200 units, with a mix of clustered single-family and multi-family homes in a neo-traditional style. Clustered housing allows for conservation and preservation of open spaces and agriculture.
Overall, the Gamble Creek Village proposal amounts to no more than 1.2 units/acre.
The plan keeps an eye toward work force housing needs as well.
Gamble Creek Village will have more than 3,300 acres of its land -- well over half of the entire development -- guaranteed for use as agricultural, very low density residential or open space purposes.
A minimum of 30% of the land will be preserved for open spaces, parks, miles of creek-side trails, walking paths and significant recreational opportunities. Meaningful open space, agricultural lands and natural features will be preserved.
The current comprehensive plan and code do not guarantee that ANY of the land will remain agricultural or allow for clustered housing that preserves open spaces.
123 acres are set aside for K-8 schools with land for a large recreational park. Additional neighborhood parks interconnected with multimodal trails are anticipated throughout Gamble Creek Village.
A minimum of 107 acres is set aside for water and sewer treatment facilities.
The plan includes, at no cost to the county, a private, centralized sewer system, and wastewater treatment facility that will benefit the quality of the Gamble Creek basin. A central water system and a potable water treatment plant will be provided in lieu of a proliferation of up to 1,200 individual septic systems and wells. Septic tanks are known to degrade our waterways and oceans and contribute to devastating algal blooms and potentially, to Red Tide outbreaks.
Planned infrastructure includes construction of portions of the County’s planned thoroughfare network (2035 Future Traffic Circulation Functional Classification Map). Additional north-south roads will accommocate the County's future needs in this area.
The village ‘complete street design’ along with clustering of housing, allows for walkability, accessibility and connectivity, reducing the amount of land that needs to be paved for streets. Current planning designations would mean up to 1,200 individual driveways and much more land paved over for asphalt roads and driveways.
L3 Partnership, a 30-year old family-run farm, is requesting a ‘text and map’ amendment to the Manatee County Comprehensive Plan to allow for the future creation of a ‘rural village’.
To bring the vision of Gamble Creek Village to a reality, several steps already have been taken and several remain in the process. The applications for the text and map amendments have been reviewed by County staff from multiple departments. Soon the applications will be set for public hearing at the Planning Commission who will vote on a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). Following the Planning Commission's hearing, there will be a public hearing at the BOCC to consider transmittal of the plan amendments to the state. The BOCC will vote to transmit or not to transmit the request. If the plan amendments are transmitted, then the state will have an opportunity to review and comment. Once the County has received the comments from the state, then the plan amendments will be set for a final adoption hearing in front of the BOCC.
Absent the text amendment and the ability to plan for a comprehensive rural village, the property inevitably will be broken up into smaller parcels and sold piecemeal. The opportunity to create a cohesive plan for this one large and intact parcel, and to protect that environment, will be lost. Approving the requested Comprehensive Plan text and map amendment gives Manatee County an option for a well-planned agricultural village, providing more certainty in the way the area eventually develops.
Future land use planning is intended to guide the evolution of the county and must be done well in advance.
Gamble Creek Village is a choice between creating a cohesive community or allowing haphazard large lot sprawl to take over a large part of Northeast Manatee County.
The property owners have been approached several times to sell off tracts bit-by-bit for sprawling residential development. As agricultural lands continue to be converted to residential development, it is in Parrish and Manatee County’s best interest to provide for the permanent preservation of some agricultural lands in conjunction with clustered residential development and a village center that creates employment, retail and support uses.
According to the Manatee County’s “How Will We Grow” report (2013), multiple studies have cited Parrish as a future growth and activity center, much like Lakewood Ranch and Lake Flores.
The property that is intended to become Gamble Creek Village is the largest, non-government, non-mining owned parcel in private ownership in Manatee County. It is more than 9-square miles (3 miles on a side) or 5,940 acres, roughly the size of the well-known community, Celebration, outside of Orlando. It is well outside of the county’s coastal high hazard area and does not impact the Lake Manatee watershed, a principal source of the region's drinking water.
With no remaining developable tracts as large as even 3,000 acres, the Gamble Creek Village property likely represents the last opportunity for the County to systematically plan for future growth in the area with the creation of a new economically self-sufficient, master-planned community and activity center in Northeast Manatee County, and acreage to preserve significant natural features and viable agricultural tracts.
It makes sense to plan for that growth now.
The current classification for this property permits up to 1,200 homes on separate lots, each with individual septic systems and wells, encouraging piecemeal, uncoordinated, inefficient urban sprawl and high impact on the environment.
The current comprehensive plan and code do not guarantee that ANY of the land will remain agricultural, or allow for clustered housing that preserves open spaces and land for agriculture.
Absent the text amendment and the ability to plan for a comprehensive rural village, the property inevitably will be broken up into smaller parcels and sold piece-by-piece. The opportunity to create a cohesive plan for this one large and intact parcel will be lost.
Approving the requested Comprehensive Plan text and map amendment gives Manatee County an option for a well-planned rural village, providing more certainty in the way the area eventually develops.
For more than 30 years, the Lindsay family have exercised careful stewardship of the land through farming, agriculture and conservation. Originally, the property was slated for open pit strip mining of phosphate.
As long-time landowners, they are committed to seeing the region grow and thrive and look to the future with long-range planning initiatives.
They look forward to working with friends and neighbors to help make and keep Northeast Manatee County a great place to live, respecting agriculture as a lifestyle of tradition and community, and preserving authenticity while providing a healthy, safe and secure community.