Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough planners delay decision on I-4 Green Tech Corridor

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County Planning Commission unanimously voted to postpone its final decision on the Interstate 4 Green Tech Corridor until April 5.

The decision came after a contentious four-hour meeting Monday night.

"I just don't want to rush this if we don't have to," said planning commissioner Frank Chillura. "It's very important."

The project would run along a 30-mile stretch of land from Temple Terrace to Polk County. Changes to county rules must be made for the development to happen.

On Monday, commissioners approved a language amendment but couldn't decide on a map designating points of development. Some hoped to downsize the 12,000 acres included within rural areas, while other members of the group argued that the land would be protected if regulations were put into place.

"If we don't plan it now, when are we going to plan it?" asked commissioner Hung Mai.

Chairman Bruce Cury reminded the board that 5,000 acres in Tampa, Temple Terrace and Plant City would also be open for development as part of the proposal.

"My feeling is that we are overreaching here," Cury said. "We have a diminishing supply of rural, agricultural and recreational lands. This is 'build it and they will come.' That is not consistent with our public purpose."

Residents from areas affected by the project lined up to voice their opinions about developing the corridor. Most opposed the proposed plan, motivated by a study requested in 2008 by county commissioners, and said it was just a way to turn rural spaces into office parks.

"I object to the expansion area because it will expand the urban service area into the rural service area," said Charlotte Butler-Nelson, who lives in Plant City. "The industries are out of character for the area and do not meet the community standards established by my neighbors and myself."

The I-4 corridor has been touted as a way to attract high-paying biomedical and green industry jobs, along with sustainable developments. An estimated 18,748 jobs paying at least $40,000 a year are expected, said Heather Lamboy, the commission's principal planner.

Changes to accommodate the plan are geared toward establishing "permit-ready" sites that can be easily marketed to developers.

The plan will also aim to limit growth within areas with water and other services, while preserving agricultural-based developments, Lamboy said. Businesses that develop in rural areas will have to follow a stricter set of guidelines.

The county staff has approved the project, and once planning commissioners make a decision, it will head to county commissioners for a final vote.

Chandra Broadwater can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 661-2454.

if you go

The vote

The Hillsborough County Planning Commission will meet at 5:30 p.m. April 5 at the County Center to vote on proposed plans for the I-4 Green Tech Corridor.

Hillsborough planners delay decision on I-4 Green Tech Corridor 03/25/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 2:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Sen. Nelson urges FEMA to examine high number of denied flood claims


    Sen. Bill Nelson urged FEMA on Tuesday to ensure fairness, proper oversight and transparency in processing Hurricane Irma aid following a report by the Palm Beach Post that 90 percent of Irma claims under the National Flood Insurance Program had been denied.

    Sen. Bill Nelson is calling for FEMA to ensure the flood claims process post-Hurricane Irma is fair and ethical following reports that 90 percent of claims under the National Flood Insurance Program were denied. | [Times file photo]
  2. Pasco delays Irma food distribution after problems elsewhere

    Local Government

    DADE CITY — Pasco County has pulled the plug on a planned Food for Florida distribution at the Land O'Lakes Recreation Center that had been scheduled to open to the public on Sunday.

    Pasco County has postponed a planned Food for Florida distribution at the Land O' Lakes Recreation Center on Collier Parkway and is seeking an alternative site. Last week, commissioners said they feared a repeat of the long lines of traffic that appeared outside Plant City Stadium on Oct. 9. The nutrition program for people affected by Hurricane Irma had been scheduled to come to Land O' Lakes Oct. 18 to 27.  [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Editorial: UF can set example for free speech


    White nationalist Richard Spencer is bringing his racist message Thursday to the University of Florida in a legitimate, if utterly repugnant, display of the First Amendment at work. As a public university, UF has little choice but to allow Spencer's speech to take place. Now the university and the broader community has …

    By responding with peaceful protests and refusing to be provoked into violence, UF and the Gainesville community can provide a powerful repudiation of Richard Spencer’s hateful message.
  4. Percussionist rocks out with a blazing triangle solo during Florida Orchestra performance


    Oh, the poor triangle. It's the orchestra equivalent of a rock band's tamborine, and such easy fodder for jokes.

    John Shaw performs a triangle solo.
  5. Amazon expands in Tampa with Pop-Up shop in International Plaza


    TAMPA — A new retailer known largely for its online presence has popped up at International Plaza and Bay Street.

    Shoppers walk past the new Amazon kiosk Tuesday at the International Plaza in Tampa. The kiosk, which opened last month, offers shoppers an opportunity to touch and play with some of the products that Amazon offers.
[CHRIS URSO   |   Times]