Industrial Development

Industrial Site Selection & Development in Manatee County
Economic and market changes to the manufacturing industry have brought renewed interest in industrial development. Industrial development is permitted in a variety of locations in unincorporated Manatee County. There are properties with existing industrial entitlements and those that lend themselves to future industrial development because of their existing zoning. Tier 1 sites are properties that have existing entitlements, and are either built, or partially built with additional opportunities to build industrial developments, without the need to obtain any further approvals. Tier 2 sites are properties that may need more entitlement work, but the locations are generally consistent with the Future Land Use Plan and the County’s land development regulations.
Existing Entitlements with Existing Development Orders
and Correct Zoning allowing Industrial Development
The following large projects have remaining entitlements for industrial development:
  • Creekwood DRI                               710,916 sf.
  • River Club Park DRI                        60,000 sf.
  • Sarasota Bradenton Airport           210,000 sf.
Projects in these developments may still require an administrative site plan and building permit review. Most allow taller (>35’) buildings. A review of the Development Order is recommended in all cases.
Link to DRI webpage.
There are other smaller projects that also have existing entitlements. These smaller projects are recognized on the map because of their existing zoning.
The following zoning districts allow industrial uses as an approved use:
LM (Light Manufacturing). This district allows for light manufacturing, processing and assembling uses, as well as intensive commercial uses and other light industrial uses in appropriate areas of Manatee County.
HM (Heavy Manufacturing). This district provides for areas of intensive manufacturing and industrial uses. Appropriate performance standards shall be applied to limit the effect of such uses on adjacent land uses.
MP – I (Master Plan Institutional). This district provides for areas allowing the placement of research and development activities.
HC (Heavy Commercial). The purpose of this district is to provide areas for intense commercial activities permitting commercial and service uses which have greater external effects such as noise, traffic, vibration, outdoor storage and other such impacts than those permitted in less intensive districts.
PDEZ (Planned Development Encouragement Zone). This planned district is intended to provide for the development of land with uses compatible with and supporting the economic health of Port Manatee and Manatee County. Locations where PDEZ is currently in place, an owner ONLY needs site plan approval.
The following Planned Development (PD) districts also allow for industrial development. The Planned Development districts require:
1)    Subsequent plan approvals or the approval of a Development Order;
2)    Land be planned as a whole;
3)   Built according to plans that demonstrate that all buildings be located, constructed, used and related to each other; and
4)    Promote the economical and efficient use of the land, with improved levels of amenities for harmonious, creative design and a better environment.
This section assumes that the correct zoning is in place. If this is the case, the only public hearing required would be to review and approved the General Development Plan. If a Zoning Atlas amendment is required to be processed, an Applicant may choose to either submit an application with or without a General Development Plan. If no plan is submitted, the application is reviewed for the range of potential uses allowed within that zoning district. Conditions, limitations, and specific approval may be placed on the application. Also, if no plan is submitted, the submittal of a future General Development Plan is authorized, but no development may occur on the property until the submittal of that plan. When a General Development Plan is submitted, all data necessary to determine whether the proposed development meets the requirements and limitations of a particular Planned District shall be provided. A Zoning Atlas amendment and the approval of a General Development Plan would both require public hearings.
PDI (Planned Development Industrial). This district encourages the concentration of complimentary uses, such as related manufacturing, processing, assembly, research activities, distribution activities, offices and associated uses.   The intent of this district is to group the uses together to serve industrial areas.
PDUI (Planned Development Urban Industrial). The intent of this district is to provide for the continued viability of the existing industrial operations in urban settings. The district provides for the establishment of parameters that will aide in the mitigation of negative impacts of expansion adjacent to existing surrounding neighborhoods.
PDRP (Planned Development Research Park). The intent of this district is to provide for the development of research facilities, high amenity specialized prototype development and testing activities, and corporate and general office uses while protecting nearby, existing and future residential uses and activities.
PDMU (Planned Development Mixed Use). These districts provide for the development of complimentary uses, i.e., commercial, office and industrial. The percentage of land area, building square footage, and impacts to such things as traffic shall be considered in determining the primary use in the PDMU district. A use exceeding 50% shall be considered to be a primary use.
Site have correct Future Land Use Designation,
but need correct Zoning or Development Order approval
The following Future Land Use designations would allow industrial developments:
IL (Light Industrial). Allows for light industrial uses, offices, research/corporate uses, warehouse/distribution uses, and intensive commercial uses. Other uses, such as neighborhood commercial, high density residential, airports, and hotels/motels would also be allowed in this Land Use designation in support of the adjacent industrial.
IH (Heavy Industrial). Allows for areas of heavy and light industrial uses, as well as other employment-related uses.
IU (Industrial Urban). Recognizes areas developed with heavy and light industrials uses, where such uses are substantially or completely surrounded by urban uses, with limited ability for expansion of the industrial uses.
MU-C/AC-1 (Mixed Use – Community Center Level 1); MU-C/AC-2 (Mixed Use – Community Center Level 2 and MU-C/AC-3 (Mixed Use–Community Center Level 3). Areas established as major centers of suburban/urban activity and limited to areas with a high level of public facility availability along functionally classified roadways. These multi-use districts only allows for Light Industrial uses, in varying degrees of intensity. These areas also provide incentives that will encourage, and in some instances, require the horizontal or vertical integration of various residential and non-residential uses within the areas, achieving internal trip capture and development a high quality environment for living and working.
These land use designations could require a General Development Plan, demonstrating the development planned, and public hearings before the Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners.
Tier 3 (Site Specific Future Land Use Designation)
The Comprehensive Plan has adopted several site-specific Comprehensive Plan Amendments, identifying a specific amount of industrial development that could be built on property. These approvals are only on a Comprehensive Plan level, and a subsequent rezoning and plan approval would be required for these properties:
  • Parrish Center                                      300,000 sf.
  • SMR – Northeast Quadrant                5,559,454 sf.
  • Port Manatee                                       3,839,814 sf. of non-residential development
  • Manatee River Farms (AKA Beverly Financial)    1,500,000 sf.
Other Things to Know
Building Height.
Building heights for industrial uses and their associated uses range from 35’ to a maximum of 55’. The height in Planned Development districts shall be determined after review of the nature of surrounding land uses to ensure that any proposed development will not create any external impacts that would adversely affect surrounding development, existing or future.
Required setbacks range from 20’ in side and rear yards, 75’ foot setback required is adjacent to residential uses. A 25’ front yard setback is required. In Planned Development districts, the setback requirements shall promote general health, safety, welfare, design excellence and neighborhood compatibility. 
The required landscape buffers are detailed in Section 715.3.2 of the Land Development Code. Planned Development districts shall be responsive to the character of the area, and shall be designed in such a manner as to provide for gradual changes in intensity. Projects in PD districts shall include additional screening, buffering, transitional uses, or other design features as necessary to adequately protect existing or probably uses of surrounding property, and shall provide functional and logical linkages to activity centers and circulation facilities on adjacent properties.
Other Requirements
Section 345 of the Land Development Code identifies additional levels of review that may be required pursuant to the Comprehensive Plan. These include the following:
1)     Any project at least partially located with a Coastal High Hazard category;
2)    Any project involving noise-sensitive uses within Sarasota Bradenton Airport Impact Overlay district;
3)    All projects in the Mixed Use Future Land Use categories;
4)    Any development involving special approval for floor area ratios specified in the Comprehensive Plan;
5)    Any development of non-residential development in the Manatee and Evers Watershed Overlay categories which requires a construction or operating permit for industrial waste treatment;
6)    Any project adjacent to all interstate connectors designated as entranceways;
7)    Any support use located within a planned industrial park in the light industry and heavy industry land use categories seeking exemption from commercial location criteria;
8)    Any additions under 50,000 square feet to existing non-residential projects already exceeding 50,000 square feet in size and located in the MU future land use category;
9)    Additions over 50,000 square feet to existing non-residential projects located in the MU future land use category;
10)New non-residential projects located in the MU future land use category within the MU future land use category;
11)Additions under 50,000 square feet to existing non-residential projects located in the IL and IH future land use categories; and
12)Additions over 50,000 square feet to existing non-residential projects located in the IL and IH future land use categories.
Map Illustrating Potential Industrial Sites (Tier 1 and Tier 2)
Please let us know how we can assist you. Contact Karen Stewart, the Economic Development Division Manager at 941-748-4501 x6832.