Vol 7 No. 21 - February 14, 2007

County to proceed with Perico land purchase

An outline shows the piece of property on Perico Island that the county plans to purchase for $6 million. To the left is St. Joe’s high-rise development, showing the 27-acre, 22-feet-deep lake now under construction. The lake will be surounded by 686 units in 13 builidngs. Adjacent to the project is the Perico Harbor Marina, also owned by St. Joe, which is part of the total project.

By Pat Copeland
sun staff writer

Manatee County commissioners last week agreed to proceed with the purchase of nearly 200 acres of uplands and wetlands on Perico Island.

The parcel is adjacent to St. Joe’s high-rise development on the Palma Sola Causeway and includes 65 acres of uplands and 130 acres of wetlands. The county has the first right of refusal to purchase the property under the settlement agreement with St. Joe made in November 2004.

"There are three big caveats," Senior Assistant County Attorney Pat McVoy told the board. "The owner is to provide an appraisal.

“In all likelihood, the owner will provide you with an appraisal that relates back to the value of the property to the owner at the time of the settlement agreement, which may be different than the value to FCT (Florida Communities Trust) when the county buys it with the land use restriction."

The other caveats relate to the title commitments and timing. She said there is a use limitation on the property, which must be clarified with St. Joe.

Conservation Lands Management Department Administrator Charlie Hunsicker said in a previous interview that the county has budgeted $6 million for the purchase. The money will come from the environmental services tax and a grant from FCT.

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