Make us your home page

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.


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.


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

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

  1. Trump reveals that he didn't record Comey after all


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump declared Thursday he never made and doesn't have recordings of his private conversations with ousted former FBI director James Comey, ending a monthlong guessing game that he started with a cryptic tweet and that ensnared his administration in yet more controversy.

    President Donald Trump said Thursday that he didn’t record his conversations with James Comey.
  2. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  3. Investigation Discovery TV show profiles 2011 Landy Martinez murder case


    The murder of a St. Petersburg man will be featured this week on a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery.

    Jose Adame sits in a Pinellas County courtroom during his 2016 trial and conviction for first-degree murder. Adame was convicted of first-degree murder last year for torturing and then executing his boyfriend as he pleaded for his life in 2011. Now it will be featured in a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery. The episode will air on June 26 at 9 p.m. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  4. Uhuru mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel protests exclusion from debate


    ST. PETERSBURG — Jesse Nevel, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement candidate for mayor, on Thursday demanded that he be allowed to participate in a July 25 televised debate between incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and challenger Rick Baker.

    Mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel holds a news conference outside the headquarters of the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday to protest his exclusion from the mayoral debate. Nevel is a member of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.
  5. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman also has top-9 wing on his wish list

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Much has been made about the Lightning's interest in bolstering its blue line, even after last week's acquisition of defense prospect Mikhail Sergachev.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101