Vacating County Interest in Real Property

Property Acquisition is responsible for processing vacation requests for recorded subdivision plats, easements and right-of-way that have been dedicated for a public purpose.

Laws Governing Vacations

Applications are subject to the appropriate laws of the State and County as summarized below:

Florida Statutes:

  • § 177.101Vacation and Annulment of Plats Subdividing Land - Gives the governing body of a county the authority to adopt resolutions vacating subdivision plats in whole or in part. Applicant must prove an ownership interest in the fee title of the property sought to be vacated. A public hearing and appropriate public notice thereof are required.

  • § 255.22 - Reconveyance of Lands Not Used for the Purpose Specified - Provides for the return to private ownership of property acquired by deed for a specific purpose where in such purpose has not been achieved or identified in a county’s comprehensive plan for a period of 60 months or more, and where no valuable consideration was given the owner for the property.

  • § 336.09, et seq. - Closing and Abandonment of Roads - empowers a county commission to vacate, abandon, discontinue use of and close any existing public street, alleyway, road, or other place of travel, or portion thereof, other than a state or federal highway. A public hearing and appropriate public notice thereof are required.

Manatee County Land Development Code:

  • § 331 - Vacation of Streets and Transfer of Plats - Provides for the exercise of authority granted the County Commission, by the state, to vacate properties lying within its jurisdiction.


Pre-Application Meeting

Before filing an application, a meeting with department staff is highly encouraged. Call division manager Charles Meador at (941) 748-4501 ext. 6289 to schedule an appointment.

The applicant should determine in advance if the vacation action being requested will allow the applicant to accomplish their objective and/or resolve their problem. Each vacation is a business decision by the Board. The approval of a vacation request will not guarantee building permit or zoning approval, nor will the vacation of a right-of-way automatically cede ownership of the underlying land to the owner of the abutting property. Matters such as these should be addressed prior to making the application.

Vacation Application Process

  1. Preliminary review of the application for regulatory compliance and completeness.

  2. Jurisdictional Review by County departments and private utilities companies serving the area.

  3. Legal review of the application by the County Attorney’s Office.

  4. A Resolution is presented to the Board of County Commissioners (Board) to set a public hearing to consider the vacation request.

  5. A notice of public hearing is advertised in the legal section of the newspaper, and a notice is placed at the site of the requested vacation area.

  6. A public hearing is held at a Regular Board meeting where the Board will consider adopting a Resolution to vacate County interest in the property.

  7. A notice of the vacation is advertised in the legal section of the newspaper.

  8. Vacation documents are recorded in the Official Records of Manatee County, Florida within thirty (30) days after adoption of the resolution by the Board.


Vacation Fees

 Type of Property


Easement or Right-of-Way




Release of Deeded Easement


The applicant is also responsible for associated costs of the vacation process, including advertising and recording fees. Fees will not be refunded for withdrawn, canceled or denied applications.



Application Filing Requirements

The minimum filing requirements listed below were established by the laws of the state and county and under the authority of the Board and its designees. The applicant is encouraged to provide any additional information it feels will further support its application.

Professional assistance in completing an application may be necessary. Only the services of licensed Florida professionals (e.g., attorneys, surveyors, engineers, and real estate consultants) should be engaged.

Legal Description and Sketch of Area Requested to be Vacated

  • Description and sketch should be prepared by a surveyor licensed by the State of Florida.
  • The legal description and sketch must be accompanied by a closure report and a completed Surveyor Checklist. To view the Surveyor Checklist, click here.

  • All Exhibits should be 8.5” X 11”.

Certification of Ownership

Evidence certifying applicant’s fee interest ownership in the Parent Tract or proposed area to be vacated. Please provide one of the following:

  • Current (less than 6 months old) “opinion of title & encumbrances” (supported by appropriate deeds via a minimum 30-year search history), as certified by an attorney who is a member of The Florida Bar; or

  • Current “title policy” or “ownership & encumbrance report” issued by a title company licensed to conduct business in the State of Florida. Certification must be dated and signed by an authorized agent of the title company.

County staff must be notified of all changes in ownership occurring during the application process. An updated ownership & encumbrance report may be necessary prior to presentation to the Board.

Property Taxes & Assessments Must Be Current

Receipts of county tax payments are required and available at:

Manatee County Tax Collector's Office
819 301 Boulevard West
Bradenton, FL 34205

Purpose and Justification

Provide a detailed statement of the applicant’s purpose for requesting the proposed vacation action. Address any and all benefits to be derived by the County and public as the result of the action.

Vacation Affidavit

To view the Vacation Affidavit, click here.

Please print, execute, and upload to the online application. If you need assistance with the notarization, visit our office between 8 AM and 5 PM, Monday - Friday.

Property Acquisition Division
1112 Manatee Avenue West
Suite 800
Bradenton, FL 34205



Public Notice Requirements

Applications requiring a public hearing have the following public notice requirements:

Legal Notices will be placed by County staff for publication in the Bradenton Herald, a Manatee County newspaper of general circulation. The applicant is responsible for all costs of advertising.

  • Two (2) advance notices of a public hearing are required for actions subject to § 177.101, Florida Statutes.

  • One (1) advance notice of a public hearing is required for actions subject to § 336.09, et seq., Florida Statutes.

  • Approved vacation actions subject to § 336.09, et seq. require the publication of a “Notice of Resolution” in a local newspaper. 

  • County staff will provide applicant with signage for posting a notice of a public hearing at the location of the property to be vacated.
    • Signs must be clearly visible from the public roadway and must be placed within 15 feet of the front property line. Applicant must sign a notarized affidavit (form will be provided) attesting to the posting of signage.


Other Requirements

Presence at Board Meetings

An applicant or their authorized representative is highly encouraged to be present at the meeting or public hearing where the acceptance of the application by the Board will be considered and voted upon.

Recording Vacation Documents

Vacation resolutions will be returned to staff by Board Records for recording. Recording fees will be determined and the applicant notified. The payment of recording fees is the responsibility of the applicant who will provide staff with a check made payable to the “Clerk of the Circuit Court” for the total amount of the fees. The documents will then be submitted to the Clerk’s Office for recording in the Official Records of the County.

  • § 331.4 of the Land Development Code requires the resolution vacating property to be recorded within thirty (30) days of the date of its adoption.

Replacement Easements

The applicant will be advised by staff when a replacement easement is required. Easements and supporting documents must be on preapproved County forms which will be provided by staff. These forms must be completed, properly executed, witnessed, and delivered to the County before an application for vacation can be presented to the Board for final consideration and action.

All or some of the following may be required:

  • Easements (e.g., drainage, utilities, right-of-way).
  • Affidavits of Ownership and Encumbrances.
  • Subordination and/or joinder agreements from lien holders of record may be needed.
    • A legal description and sketch of the area to be conveyed must be attached to each document.
    • Documents will be presented to the Board for acceptance simultaneous to the approval of the applicant’s vacation petition.
    • Easement documents will be recorded subsequent to the recording of the vacation documents.
    • The applicant is responsible for all recording fees and will be notified of the amounts due.

Letters of No Objection

Where appropriate, applicant is responsible for providing original, signed and dated, letters of “no objection” (on an organization’s letterhead) from the following:

  • Homeowner Associations & Cooperatives – Applies to any property under the jurisdiction of an HOA or Co-op.
    • Copies of recorded bylaws, etc., are to be provided with the application.
  • Community Development District (“CDD”) – Applies to properties lying within the jurisdiction of a CDD. 
  • Southwest Florida Water Management District (“SWFWMD”) – Applies to properties in which SWFWMD has an interest: e.g., conservation easements, wetlands, or retention areas.

    Southwest Florida Water Management District
    6750 Fruitville Road
    Sarasota, FL 34240-9711
    (941) 377-3722


Vacation Application

For instructions on how to complete the vacation application, click here.