Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Apollo Beach development plan angers neighbors

The county has approved a preliminary request to build professional office buildings on property on the south side of Miller Mac Road. About 300 residents have signed a petition against the plan.

KIM WILMATH | Times

The county has approved a preliminary request to build professional office buildings on property on the south side of Miller Mac Road. About 300 residents have signed a petition against the plan.

APOLLO BEACH

A little more than 2 acres of rural land off U.S. 41 could soon be developed for office space, much to the dismay of nearby neighbors.

The land sits on the south side of Miller Mac Road, just west of Fauna Lane. Though a couple of commercial buildings abut the land to the east, the surrounding area is largely residential.

Property trustee Sam Reiber, who is also trustee of an 8,000-square-foot structure on the east side of the property, asks that 0.28 acres be rezoned for general commercial development and about 2 more acres for professional office space, in a proposal filed in April with county officials.

The request sailed through preliminary Hillsborough County Planning Commission channels without opposition from county agencies that reviewed it. A zoning hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 20 at Hillsborough County Center, 601 E Kennedy Blvd.

About 300 residents who live near the proposed development have signed a petition asking for the proposal's denial. They cite disruption to the residential community, intrusion into wildlife habitats and potential for increased traffic as their primary concerns.

But the developer has a different vision, said Todd Pressman, a consultant who represents Reiber. Pressman said his client wants to build a "non-imposing, very quiet" building for doctors and lawyers' offices.

• • •

Businesses would be limited to 5,000 square feet, and establishments including taverns, car washes, dry cleaners, car repair shops and sign-painting shops would be prohibited, according to the draft proposal.

Only the Environmental Protection Commission has requested additional conditions attached to the project. Before developers plan for construction, they must delineate protected wetlands, and EPC staff must sign off that nothing will be built there or within 30 feet, the draft proposal states.

County planner Isabelle Albert said that's standard procedure for rezoning a wetlands area.

But it doesn't appease neighbors, who worry that the restrictions won't stick. "I'm not very confident," said Bruce Davis, who lives in the area and is helping organize the community's opposition effort.

Davis said the wetlands are just one portion of the wildlife habitat on the property. Bobcats, birds, squirrels and raccoons will have a tough time navigating the area when it's impeded by buildings, he said.

Also, Davis said, the land serves as a buffer to the SouthShore Falls subdivision to the south, and residents worry that bringing new businesses to the neighborhood will come with dangerous traffic.

He also argued that plenty of vacant office space already exists all over town, pointing out spots at the Mira Bay Villages and along Apollo Beach Boulevard. "Why put in an office building when there's so much open space right now?" Davis said.

Pressman disputes the community's arguments, noting that "I've never heard of a small little office project that generated traffic that was a problem."

Responding to the question of forgone vacant spots nearby, Pressman said it's the property owner's choice to do what he wants with his land.

"The question is, what's going to go there and how big. And I think his choice so far is on the heavily nonimpactful side," Pressman said. "I think it's a very credible way to go."

Nevertheless, Davis said and other opposing residents plan to show up in force at the Sept. 20 hearing to voice their concerns in person.

Davis said anyone who wishes to participate should attend a community meeting at 11 a.m. Sept. 11 at the SouthShore Falls clubhouse.

Kim Wilmath can be reached at (813) 661-2442 or kwilmath@sptimes.com.

Apollo Beach development plan angers neighbors 09/02/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 1, 2010 3:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review: Jason Aldean fires up a country-dude party at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

    Blogs

    Country music has a dude problem.

    I’m not talking about the proliferation of mindless bro country over the past half-decade, nor am I referring to the fact that most of Nashville’s best music these days comes not from said bros, from female singers and songwriters.

    Jason Aldean performed at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on Aug. 18, 2018.
  2. President Trump offers prayers for Kissimmee police

    Blogs

    President Donald Trump reacted to the police shooting in Kissimmee:

  3. Kissimmee police officer dies, one gravely wounded; Jacksonville officers shot

    News

    KISSIMMEE — A Kissimmee police officer died and a second was gravely wounded Friday night, police Chief Jeff O'Dell said.

    Two police officers have been shot and killed in Kissimmee, authorities say. The shooting happened in the area of Palmway and Cypress around 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. Photo courtesy of WESH.com
  4. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Seattle Mariners first baseman Yonder Alonso (10) scores on the double by Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  5. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming

    Roads

    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]