ENGLEWOOD — While it’s nothing new for baseball and football playing fields, artificial turf could be the newest thing coming to Manasota Key.
The Charlotte County advisory Planning and Zoning Board unanimously recommended allowing property owners to line the perimeters of their properties with artificial turf during a recent meeting.
Charlotte County commissioners are expected to be asked to approve the recommendation during their Oct. 27 meeting.
Artificial turf does not seem to be the issue on Manasota Key. However, notification of property owners may be more of an issue.
The Manasota and Sandpiper Key Zoning Overlay guides development on the Charlotte County portion of the barrier island. The current zoning requires property owners to maintain a minimum 10-foot wide vegetative strip around the perimeter of their properties.
“Recently, some home owners, and future home owners have requested that artificial turf be allowed in the peripheral landscape strip,” wrote Shaun Cullinan, Planning and Zoning official in a memorandum to the planning board.
County staff consulted with members of the Manasota and Sandpiper Key Advisory Committee before approaching the advisory board, Cullinan said. However, the advisory board failed to see enough members for a quorum.
“I’ve learned a lot through this process,” Cullinan said.
A caveat is that the turf base needs to be set upon sand or some other pervious surface that allow water to pass through and into the soil. Concrete, asphalt or other impervious bases are not permitted, since they could result in stormwater runoff.
No one spoke for nor against the artificial turf at the planning board meeting.
What is more troublesome to some Manasota Key residents and property owners is that they were not aware nor notified of a proposed change to their overlay plan, said Damian Ochab, president of the South Manasota/Sanpiper Key Association.
“It’s better than green-colored cement,” Ochab said of the artificial turf. But as far the notification, he said, “We’d like clear and clean communication.”