Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough County Commission preserves Keystone plan

KEYSTONE — The Board of County Commissioners has unanimously quashed the latest assault on rural Keystone and preserved the area's future growth plan, at least for one more year.

Developer Stephen Dibbs wanted commissioners to exempt him from the citizen-authored Keystone-Odessa Community Plan so he could build a supermarket, restaurants and convenience stores north of Lutz-Lake Fern Road and west of the Suncoast Parkway.

The plan caps development at seven homes or 40,000 square feet of commercial buildings and prohibits the extension of public water and sewer into rural areas, which use wells and septic tanks.

During a hearing last week, representatives for Dibbs told commissioners that the plan, which became law in 2001, is outdated. Steve Allison and Todd Pressman said the area is more suburban than rural and capable of supporting the more intense development their client envisions.

Dibbs' request was among the most blatant cases of a developer disregarding a community's wishes and, if he had prevailed, the decision may have set a precedent for community plans across Hillsborough.

Four of the 24 speakers at the meeting weren't Keystone homeowners, but stakeholders in rural southern and eastern Hillsborough.

"If this goes forward," Lithia's Pam Clouston said, "that is just going to happen like a house of cards, a pile of dominos all over this county."

Before casting her vote against Dibbs' proposal, Commissioner Rose Ferlita acknowledged as much.

"Where we violate or disrespect community plans for one," she said, "we disrespect it for others."

But Ferlita and her colleagues said they voted against Dibbs' proposal not because of the arguments for preservation but because it surfaced at the wrong time.

The Keystone plan is up for review in 2010. That, commissioners said, is when Dibbs should approach the county. Not now.

"There are mechanisms and processes," Ferlita said. "The people that were not satisfied with the original community plan have the option to come back and tell this board or whoever's sitting up here what they want changed."

Commissioner Kevin White encouraged Dibbs to work with the community and seek their support.

"One day something's going to encroach on their neighborhood, but they want to be a part of what encroaches on them because they have a wholehearted stake," he said.

Dibbs, who was not at the hearing and did not return a call seeking comment, told the St. Petersburg Times last month that he will keep requesting an amendment to Keystone's plan "until we put a commercial shopping center there."

Rodney Thrash can be reached at rthrash@sptimes.com or (813) 269-5303.

Hillsborough County Commission preserves Keystone plan 04/09/09 [Last modified: Thursday, April 9, 2009 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Remember him? Numbers prove Ben Zobrist is one of greatest Rays of all time

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first foray back to the Trop by the best manager the Rays have had obscured the second return visit by arguably the second-best player in franchise history.

    Figures.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) takes the field to start the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.
  2. GOP's new repeal bill would likely leave millions more uninsured, analyses suggest

    Health

    WASHINGTON — The latest Republican bid to roll back the Affordable Care Act would likely leave millions of currently insured Americans without health coverage in the coming decades, and strip benefits and protections from millions more, a growing number of independent studies suggest.

    Vice President Mike Pence listens as President Donald Trump talks to reporters about the Graham-Cassidy health care bill during a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in New York. [Evan Vucci | Associated Press]
  3. Mueller casts broad net in requesting extensive records from Trump White House

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — The special counsel investigating Russian election meddling has requested extensive records and email correspondence from the White House, covering the president's private discussions about firing his FBI director and his response to news that the then-national security adviser was under …

    In a photograph provided by the Russian foreign ministry, President Donald Trump meets with Sergei Lavrov, left, the Russian foreign minister, and Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, May 10, 2017. Special counsel Robert Mueller is interested in this meeting, where Trump said dismissing FBI Director James Comey had relieved "great pressure" on him, the New York Times reported on Sept. 20. [Russian Foreign Ministry via  New York Times]
  4. 'We will find our island destroyed': Hurricane Maria demolishes Puerto Rico

    News

    SAN JUAN — Sleepless Puerto Ricans awoke Wednesday knowing to expect a thrashing from the most ferocious storm to strike the island in at least 85 years. They met nightfall confronting the ruin Hurricane Maria left behind: engorged rivers, blown-out windows, sheared roofs, toppled trees and an obliterated electric …

    Rescue vehicles from the Emergency Management Agency stand trapped under an awning during the impact of Hurricane Maria, after the storm  hit the eastern region of the island, in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Maria has lost its major hurricane status, after raking Puerto Rico. But forecasters say some strengthening is in the forecast and Maria could again become a major hurricane by Thursday. [Carlos Giusti | Associated Press]
  5. Obamacare repeal bill offers flexibility and uncertainty

    Politics

    The latest Republican proposal to undo the Affordable Care Act would grant states much greater flexibility and all but guarantee much greater uncertainty for tens of millions of people.