Multi-Family Development


Multi-family Site Selection & Development in Manatee County

Economic and market changes to the housing industry have brought renewed interest in multi-family housing development. Multi-family housing is permitted in a variety of locations in unincorporated Manatee County. There are properties with existing multi-family entitlements and those that lend themselves to future multi-family development because of their zoning existing. Tier 1 sites are properties that have existing entitlements, and are either built, or partially built with additional opportunities to build multi-family housing 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 Multi-family Development
The following large projects have existing entitlements for multi-family. The remaining entitlements are indicated:
  • Gateway North DRI (722 units);
  • Heritage Harbor DRI (541 units);
  • Lakewood Ranch DRI’s, including:
    • Cypress Banks (718 units)
    • U Lakes (736 units)
    • NW Sector (350 units)
    • Lakewood Centre (3,119 units)
  • River Club Park of Commerce DRI (500 units)
  • Creekwood DRI (132 units)
  • Tara DRI (680 units)
  • University Commons DRI (143 units); and
  • Parrish Lakes DRI (1,100 units pending – not yet approved).
Link to DRI Webpage
There are other smaller projects that also have existing entitlements. These smaller projects are also indicated on the map in Tier I.
Projects in these developments may still require an administrative site plan and building permit review. Many allow taller (<35’) buildings. A review of the Development Order is recommended in all cases.
The following zone districts allow multi-family uses as an approved use:
Professional (PR) Zoning. Properties with PR zoning have multi-family as approved uses. These properties only require an administrative site plan and building permit review.
Residential Multi-family (RMF) Zoning. Properties with RMF zoning have multi-family as approved uses. These properties only require an administrative site plan and building permit review.
Planned Development (PD) Zoning. Many projects with PD zoning have multi-family as approved use, only requiring an administrative site plan and building permit review.
Correct Land Use Designation, but needs
Zoning and/or Development Order
The following Land Use designations would allow multi-family developments:
RES (Residential)
UF-3 (Urban Fringe)
OL (Low Intensity Office)
ROR ((Retail/Office/Residential)
MU (Mixed Use)
MU-C (Mixed Use Community)
These land use designations would require a General Development Plan (GDP) site plan and public hearings before the Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners.  Rezoning can be accomplished simultaneously with the GDP. Multi-family in Village zone districts (Parrish & Myakka) require a site plan and one public hearing before a hearing officer, followed by building permits.
Properties within these Land Use designations have been identified on the map within Tier 2.
Site-Specific Future Land Use Designation
The Comprehensive Plan has adopted several site-specific Comprehensive Plan Amendments, identifying a specific amount of multi-family 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                        740 acres       No more than 3,200 dwelling units
  • Northwest Quadrant               558 acres       484 multi-family dwelling units
  • Northeast Quadrant                6,595 acres   3,228 multi-family dwelling units
  • Manatee Fruit Company        1,420 acres   8,600 residential units (Crossroads at SW Manatee)
  • Parrish Lakes                         1,155 acres   Maximum of 3,465 dwelling units
  • Beverly Financial                    317 acres       945 residential units
Other Things to Know
Building Height.
Maximum building height shall be 35’. Building heights can, however, be greater than 35’ near the interstate interchanges, major arterials, and Community Redevelopment Areas. Any proposal over 35’ requires a public hearing.  Additional setbacks may be required if adjacent to existing single-family residential.  Some large projects and DRIs allow buildings taller than 35’, however building heights greater than 45’ can only be achieved with public hearings.

Required setbacks range from 10’ to 20’ in side and rear yards, to 25’ in front yards. See Section 603 of the Land Development Code for detailed identifications of the required setbacks for the PR, the RMF and the PD zone districts. 
The required landscape buffers are detailed in Section 701.3 of the Land Development Code.
Maximum Densities
Maximum densities range from 6 to 9 dwelling units per acre. The maximum densities for the RP, the RMF and PD zone districts are detailed in the applicable figures in Section 6.2 of the Land Development Code.

Map Illustrating Potential Multi-Family Sites (Tier 1 and Tier 2)
Please let us know how we can assist you. Contact John Osborne, Planning and Zoning Official, at 941-748-4501 x6825.