Port Manatee Encouragement Zone


The Port Manatee Encouragement Zone is a County initiative to facilitate a greater range of employment-based uses near Port Manatee and helps strengthen the economic health of Manatee County. It includes the Florida International Gateway (FIG), Planned Development Encouragement Zone (PDEZ) and other incentives from the County's Economic Development staff.

Florida International Gateway Overlay (FIG)

Image Florida International Gateway Overlay (FIG)

The Florida International Gateway District is in the Comprehensive Plan. The FIG includes an over 2,000 acre area with a wider range of land uses (including light industrial uses) available to landowners within its boundary. Landowners retain any entitlements they have consistent with their approved developments (consistent with timeframe approved by County) but also enjoy the opportunity to develop their property with Port-related uses.

Planned Development Encouragement Zone (PDEZ)

Image Planned Development Encouragement Zone (PDEZ)

The Land Development Code establishes a Planned Development Encouragement Zone (PDEZ) Zoning District. This district encourages port-compatible development on vacant lands in the vicinity of Port Manatee. This could include manufacturing, warehouses, distribution centers and a range of other light and heavy industrial uses. To date, four areas totaling over 1,000 acres have been rezoned to the new PDEZ district. Additional parcels are being considered for PDEZ zoning (for more information contact Kathleen Thompson below).

The PDEZ provides the ability for a landowner to get advance approval for a variety of port-related uses. Once the PDEZ re-zoning is approved and the list of the various potential uses with the rezone, the property owner can then market their property for the list of available uses. Once a decision is made to develop the property, the process will be administrative.

Land owners are free to apply on their own for the PDEZ. However, the public hearings for PDEZ rezonings are typically done with a number of properties and owners at a time. Manatee County acts as a partner when multiple projects/properties are in the process, and coordinates the applications and other necessary materials with the applicants. Fees are divided among the applicants to save costs.

Development of Regional Impacts (DRI) Near Port

Another incentive for port-related development is the three mile exemption area around the port. Per Florida Statutes, port-related uses are exempted from DRI thresholds within 3 miles of the port.

News and Contact Information

For the latest news and information on the Port Manatee Encouragement Zone, please contact Reviewer on Call at (941) 749-3070. You may also contact the Redevelopment and Economic Opportunities Department for additional information on incentives.