Apr 29, 2021 - News
Agrarian utopia planned for rural Manatee County
A map showing the plans for Gamble Creek Village in eastern Manatee County
A map showing the plans for Gamble Creek Village in eastern Manatee County. Courtesy of Gamble Creek Village

For five years, brothers Bob and David Lindsay have quietly envisioned turning their 6,000 acres in rural eastern Manatee County, just south of the Hillsborough County line, into a cool self-contained village — a so-called "agrihoood."

  • The planned farm-centric development is way more pick-berries-as-you-walk-to-work village than two-car-garage suburb.
  • Think bike and walk paths, clustered homes that leave lots of space for nature trails and green space, farming (both big fields and small community plots), parks, and enough businesses to give residents most of what they need right in the village.

Utopia, right? (It's evidently a trend.)

The challenge: Gamble Creek Village would be two miles outside of Manatee County's future urban development line, the Bradenton Herald reports.

  • Attorney Mark Barnebey recently asked planning commissioners for zoning changes that would allow the innovative project to move forward.

"Anything in the eastern part of the county, they're just very hesitant about," Barnebey told Axios. "But the nature of this project requires it to be out in an agricultural area ... This is conceptually like a modern day Mayberry type of proposal."

The big picture: The project requires two public hearings, then goes to the state for approval.

  • Barnebey told Axios that he expects that to happen by late summer or early fall. He said the backers are getting serious about developing a village master plan.

How long to ground breaking, if all goes as planned?

  • "Probably, at best, three or four years," Barnebey told us.

Reading file: Gable Creek Village, if it comes to be, wouldn't be the first utopia planned for the area. Ruskin was founded as an experimental community based on the philosophy of Victorian sage John Ruskin.


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