Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Big-box foes near Bloomingdale Library gain small victory in bitter war

VALRICO — The neighbors fighting a proposed retail development near the Bloomingdale Library received a small concession from the Hillsborough County Commission on Wednesday, but it was hardly enough to stem their frustration.

Members of the Coordinated Active Neighborhoods for Development Organization, or CAN-DO, spoke at the meeting Wednesday and watched as the board approved Commissioner Ken Hagan's motion to dedicate all developer transportation mitigation funding from this project to improving traffic congestion in the immediate vicinity.

That money will be earmarked when Redstone submits the final approved property share agreement. Concerned residents also will be able to review some possible recommendations on how to use that money.

The reaction from the group was tepid at best.

"It's commendable, but unless they plan to widen Bloomingdale to eight lanes, I'm not sure how it can help," said Eric Brosch, who addressed the board sporting a bright orange T-shirt that read "Say No to the Big Box" and advocated for what he called "sensible development."

Brosch and other residents remain opposed to the Redstone Development plan outlining a big-box store, five outparcels and 261 apartments on the property east of the library.

In the course of a discussion about the board's legal position, Commissioner Sandra Murman caught the group's attention with a comment about Redstone's initial presentation.

Murman said she doesn't recall seeing a big-box project come before the board when it reviewed photos from a 2011 Redstone presentation. She said she expected the development to be similar to Winthrop in Riverview.

"I feel like we were, I don't want to say duped so much, but maybe we were a little bit about what the intent for the actual property was going to be," Murman said.

After the meeting, Brosch said, "They promised a Winthrop and delivered a Walmart."

Hagan, who said CAN-DO's "concerns are valid and I want to help the community any way that I can," asked county attorney Chip Fletcher to explain the County Commission's legal options.

"If this board were to try to insert themselves or change the rules for the zoning process or initiate a rezoning that would change what is available on the site for the property owner, there would be substantial legal ramifications," Fletcher said at the meeting.

The land in question has been zoned for potential big box and residential use since 2003, but longtime residents feel they weren't properly informed of the potential zoning at the time.

Theresa Cecchini, who resides in the Bloomingdale Oaks subdivision, said "this to us is a commercial cancer in our environment."

"I don't expect this land to remain undeveloped, but I do expect that what goes there would fit with the community and contribute to it," Brosch said.

The group has raised money and hired Pamela Jo Hatley, a lawyer who specializes in real estate, land use and community association matters, and who advocates for community organizations before local governments in environmental and land-use matters.

"We have retained an attorney to get some questions answered, said Brosch, 41, whose family lives on Cade Lane near Bloomingdale High School. "We are in this for the long haul."

Big-box foes near Bloomingdale Library gain small victory in bitter war 05/18/13 [Last modified: Thursday, May 16, 2013 7:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For starters: Rays at Orioles, facing another old friend in Jeremy Hellickson

    Blogs

    The Rays take on the Orioles again tonight and will face another old friend for the first time, as RHP Jeremy Hellickson will take the mound for the home team.

    Hellickson was drafted by the Rays in 2005 and pitched for them from 2010-14, then was traded to Arizona. He has since bounced to the Phillies and …

  2. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  3. Charles Bradley, acclaimed Florida soul singer, dies at 68

    Blogs

    Acclaimed Florida R&B powerhouse Charles Bradley, whose raw, pained voice earned him the nickname the Screaming Eagle of Soul, has died of cancer at 68, his representatives announced Saturday.

    Charles Bradley performed at the 2016 Gasparilla Music Festival.
  4. Kriseman and Baker cash race continues as campaigns officially reset

    Blogs

    The mayoral campaign, mostly operating in stealth mode during the two weeks of Hurricane Irma's build-up, arrival and recovery, has entered its stretch run, a compressed schedule of ten days before ballots are mailed to tens of thousands of voters in the Sunshine City.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker are emerging from Hurricane Irma mode and getting back into campaign form
  5. Bucs have chance to beat Vikings in their third stadium

    Bucs

    Here's a cool sign that the Bucs are getting up there as an NFL franchise: If Tampa Bay can win Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, it will mark the first time the Bucs have posted road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.

    TIMES ARCHIVES (2012) | Bucs RB Doug Martin runs during Tampa Bay's 36-17 win at the Vikings in 2012, in what was then called Mall of America Field. If Tampa Bay wins Sunday, it will mark the first time they have road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.