City Council advances three developments
Who says there's nothing in the development pipeline? Three large-scale land use and zoning cases got their first City Council hearing Thursday. It unanimously sent them to a second public hearing May 20, but there were glimpses into battles to come. The cases go before the Pinellas Planning Council on April 21 and the County Commission on May 18.
Toytown: Can the developer safely build on a landfill? Council members weren't placated by Florida Gateway Development. It proposes 2,100 housing units, 1.5 million square feet of shopping and 2 million square feet of offices near Interstate 275 and Roosevelt Boulevard. Mayor Bill Foster told council members they weren't yet weighing safety, just setting the stage for the state Department of Environmental Protection. Bill Dudley asked whether a baseball stadium was still on the table, and got hushed.
Sam's Club: Council member Jeff Danner led the charge: How might a developer make up for extra cars on slammed 22nd Avenue N? Times Publishing Co. requests a change to 8 acres that would be part of a Sam's Club on 17th Avenue N and 34th Street. Danner disagrees with city staff members that most drivers would use 34th Street, which is C-rated, versus getting off I-275 at 22nd Avenue N, which is F-rated. Staffers will study a site plan this summer.
Senior village: Council members Herb Polson and Wengay Newton lauded a proposed senior housing village at Ninth Avenue N and 66th Street as a model for working with neighborhoods. Eagle Crest president Lance Lubin said part of the excitement was that it would prevent traffic-intense retail, which neighbors battled.