ManateeCountyWe are pleased to announce that the Manatee County Urban Corridors Plan received the 2017 Outstanding Long Range Study/Plan Award from the Florida Planning and Zoning Association (FPZA). Congratulations to Pat Tyjeski, AICP, Senior Project Manager, and all the team members who participated in this project for their hard work and effort on this signature project. 

Background on the Plan

Manatee County retained S&ME to conduct an assessment of the commercial corridors within the urban core area. Although the area had declined over the past several decades, the County believed existing infrastructure and community services afforded an opportunity for future redevelopment.

ManateeCounty2The S&ME Team reviewed the County’s current policy and development standards to devise regulatory strategies that would allow the County to realize its vision of a revitalized urban area. The Team facilitated design charrettes and visioning exercises to ensure that stakeholder and community input would play a vital role throughout the process. This community involvement effort culminated in amendments to the County’s Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code designed to improve opportunities for quality infill, mixed-use development, affordable housing, and other revitalization strategies.

Although the recommendations involved substantial changes to Manatee County’s Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code, the Board approved the amendments unanimously. Board members were impressed with the proposed approach, and believe the changes will serve as both catalyst and incentives to encourage the type of desired development envisioned by the County. Through community efforts, hard work from County staff and the S&ME team, and dedication of elected officials, the Urban Corridor amendments came to fruition. 

The Award

The team’s efforts in Manatee County caught the attention of the Gulf Coast Chapter of FPZA. With effusive praise, the Chapter nominated the project for consideration of the 2017 Outstanding Long Range Study/Plan Award. The Gulf Coast Chapter was particularly impressed by the way “Pat worked quickly but collaboratively with the community, stakeholders, and the elected officials to adopt much needed land use regulatory amendments that will spark redevelopment in an area of the County that has potential to see innovative growth.”

ManateeCountyUrbanCorridorsPat praised the work of her fellow team members. “This was truly a team effort. Our Landscape Architects, Engineers, Transportation Engineers, and Planners contributed to make this project a success. Another great example of interdisciplinary collaboration!”

The state chapter of the FPZA agreed and honored S&ME and Manatee County with this great distinction. An Awards Ceremony was held on June 9th during the FPZA’s Annual Conference at the Ritz Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, Florida. 

About FPZA

“The FPZA was established in 1951 with the goal of promoting cooperation among official planning and zoning boards/commissions, civic bodies, citizens, technicians and students interested in planning and zoning in the State of Florida. By cultivating and stimulating interest in planning and zoning by local governments, the FPZA hopes to encourage the observance of sound planning and zoning practices.” The FPZA currently has over 1000 members and 13 chapters.