Landowner hopes mitigation bank will save Parrish property from development
MANATEE – The decades upon decades of cattle farming, citrus cultivation and pine production — then the lifeblood of East Manatee — have slashed and stripped the natural features of a plot of land just southeast of Lake Parrish.
In an effort to turn back the clock, the latest effort to set aside land for preservation rather than development can be found in the proposed Manatee Mitigation Bank.
A mitigation bank is a piece of disturbed wetlands that, once permitted, is cleaned up by the landowner and assessed for "credits." Local developers who unavoidably destroy similar wetlands with their own projects can buy these "credits" from the "banker," or landowner, to offset their impacts. Each credit can be tens of thousands of dollars, and more valuable depending on the type of wetland.
Tampa-based Mitchell Family LLC, headed by George Mitchell, filed their plans earlier this year with the Southwest Florida Water Management District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The federal agency is now taking comments for the proposal.