Residents still fighting big-box development
Approximately 40 residents attended a town hall meeting at the Bloomingdale Public Library in Valrico on Thursday night to discuss the status of the proposed "Bloomingdale big box" development.
Because of increased traffic and environmental concerns, a number of residents oppose the development, which would include a large retail space and 261 new apartments.
They gained traction in early April when a judge denied the county's request to dismiss the lawsuit brought by potential neighbors, who claimed the Hillsborough County Commission did not give residents enough notice when the board first approved the project. The suit brought by Coordinated Active Neighborhoods for Development Organization (CAN-DO) leader Fred Brown against the county will go into mediation this week and will continue to court if it is not resolved.
During Thursday night's meeting, CAN-DO leaders discussed ideas for a second round of fundraising to support Brown's suit should the case go to court.
The commercial development on the site was made possible by a 2011 amendment to the land development code. The county is now considering reversing the amendment to prevent such developments in the future, although the Bloomingdale project would be unaffected.
The board was scheduled to act on the land development code text amendments on May 29, but it did not have a quorum of four members and was unable to take any official action. The business scheduled for May 29 will discussed at a meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday (June 12).
Woman's club inducts officers for 2014-15
The Apollo Beach Woman's Club has installed officers for 2014-15: Sharon Vasquez, president; Beverley Brooks, 1st vice president; Marlene Hall, 2nd vice president; Deanna Anest; 3rd vice president; Stephanie Betz, recording secretary; and Nancy Vance, treasurer. The club was established in 1959 by a group of women who wanted to contribute to the community by providing college scholarships to graduates from Apollo Beach. In addition to funding scholarships, the members also enjoy special interest activities in book, bridge, garden and culture clubs within the club. Membership is $20 and the club meets on the second Wednesday of each month from September to May. For more information, call Marlene Hall at (813) 645-6985.
Restaurant's future remains unclear
A representative of the Mohammed family, which owns Ben's Family Restaurant, said they are still undecided about whether or not they will rebuild the popular spot billed as Brandon's oldest restaurant. "There are still a lot of factors going on," said Reyhana Vicki Mohammed, daughter of owner Manny Mohammed. "It's unclear what the next step will be." An electrical fire in the attic on May 23 caused $900,000 damage and likely destroyed the restaurant.
Mighty Mongo plays at concert series
Mighty Mongo, a four-piece St. Petersburg rock band, will play at 7 p.m. today at Central Park, 14215 Barrington-Stowers Drive, as part of the Concerts for a Cause series. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring nonperishable items for Feeding America Tampa Bay in lieu of admission cost.
Freedom to Walk Summer Fun Walk set
The Freedom to Walk Foundation and KB Home are hosting a Summer Fun Walk on Saturday at the KB Home Mirabella Community, 10501 Balm Road. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the walk starts at 9. The entry fee is one donation per walker. The foundation helps to fund the purchase of WalkAides, electronic devices that help children and adults diagnosed with foot drop due to various ailments. The event will include free food, music, vendors and a raffle. For more information, contact Daisy Vega at (813) 546-2329 or Daisy.Vega@ FreedomToWalkFoundation.com.
Cultural center hosts Mediterranean event
The Firehouse Cultural Center, 101 First Ave. NE, host a Mediterranean dining event from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday. A four-course Mediterranean dinner will be catered by Pita Kebob and there will be a performance of the ancient art of belly dancing by the graceful Sohayna. Tickets are $15 for members and $18 for nonmembers. At the door, tickets are $17 for members, $20 for nonmembers. For more information, call (813) 645-7651.
Village Players present 'Murder on the Nile'
The Village Players' production of Murder on the Nile premiers June 13 with a dinner theater at 7 p.m. in the James McCabe Theater, 506 Fifth St. Tickets are $25. The show continues its run on June 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28 at 8 p.m. with a special Sunday matinee performance at 3 p.m. June 15. Tickets for those shows are $15, $13 for seniors, students and military personnel with ID, and $12 per person for groups of 10 or more. For more information, go to thevillageplayers valrico.com.