DOVER — The developer of a proposed energy industrial park made good on a promise last week to meet with potential neighbors to discuss concerns about traffic, urban services and environmental impacts.
Imperium Cos. president Kyle Mowitz scheduled the meeting after residents voiced their issues with potential development during a hearing at the Hillsborough County Planning Commission meeting Feb. 22. Then, he said he hoped to put community worries to rest.
At the March 4 meeting, Mowitz listed four barriers to development of the proposed park south of State Road 60 bounded by Turkey Creek and Dover roads: getting the county's approval, acquiring feedstock to make into natural gas, gaining support of the community and getting the necessary permits for air emissions.
"This is not a done deal, by any means," Mowitz said of the project.
On April 8, the board of county commissioners is scheduled to hear amendments to the comprehensive plan that would reclassify the phosphate mine land for energy industrial park use. Last month, the planning commission recommended approval of the amendments.
Mowitz and Imperium vice president Mark Robbins said repeatedly during the community meeting that they wanted to work with residents.
They discussed plans for a talk-to-the-developers Web site, where residents could ask questions and have public answers in writing.
Many community members worried that possible road construction and an increased number of trucks on State Road 60 would tie up traffic during rush hour or cause gridlock to spill over to nearby Durant Road.
Mowitz said his company would pay for construction on State Road 60 and that no truck traffic would be directed to any other road.
Residents also said they worried about hazardous waste and emissions. Mowitz said the facilities would be emission-free and that very little waste would be stored on-site.
One concern, raised during the planning commission meeting in February, was that the increased urban services boundary for the site would open the door to more development in the area.
Imperium officials acknowledged that it was possible, but that the area open to development would be small.
"This is not going to be setting itself up for urban sprawl," Robbins said.
Hilary Lehman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 661-2441.