Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Plan for upscale Westchase apartments draws opposition

WESTCHASE — A Columbus, Ga., developer wants to rezone 85 acres east of Davidsen Middle and build 434 upscale apartments on the property by 2010, according to documents filed with Hillsborough County.

Thomas Holdings LLC, owns the property, west of Sheldon Road, east of Montague Street and north of Bridgeton Drive. It is designated for agricultural, single-family use. Flournoy Development Co. LLC, wants to change that to make way for its proposed complex, the Windsor at Westchase.

The possibility of apartments concerns homeowners and government leaders. They don't want their community name attached to something they say will overcrowd their schools, congest their roads, disrupt their quiet and disturb their wetlands.

The county has received 30 letters of opposition to the Windsor proposal. Most came from home­owners along Bayboro Bridge Drive, which borders the proposed development.

Timothy and Michele Mason wrote in an e-mail that they were concerned about potential environmental impacts. There are about 38 acres of wetlands on the eastern and southern portions of the site and a number of trees.

"These pockets of agricultural, conservation and lake areas offer balance and beauty in our lives and are the homes of our wildlife," the Masons said. "If we allow these hot pieces of land to all be developed upon, we will end up with a concrete jungle and the ramifications would be unimaginable."

An e-mail from Dr. Adele B. McCollum said the area's major roads wouldn't be able to handle the flood of cars that would come with the new residents.

"Traffic on Sheldon is already difficult, and an additional 400 to 600 families will undoubtedly stress the school system," she said. "Enough is enough."

Until transportation and other issues are resolved, Hillsborough Planning and Growth Management staffers say the Board of County Commissioners should deny Flournoy's request.

The Westchase Community Association, which represents the area's more than 3,500 homes, isn't a fan of the project, either. Its board unanimously opposed more apartments and sent a letter to the county saying as much.

"The continued development in the northwest Hillsborough County quadrant without infrastructure, roadways, school capacity and services capable of meeting that development must be re-evaluated," president Carlos Quiros said.

But in papers filed with the county, Flournoy said Westchase already has a mix of multiuse family dwellings like the one its company is suggesting.

That is exactly why Dawn de la Vega said she hopes commissioners vote down the developer's request. She owns Highland Lake, a condo conversion that is next to the proposed apartment project. She said a high number of vacancies proves "this is not necessary and would oversaturate and further hurt the housing market."

Flournoy has the backing of Thomas Holdings and the City-County Planning Commission. The latter agency says the proposal is consistent with the county's comprehensive plan, which determines where and what kind of construction is allowed.

The item goes before a Hillsborough zoning hearing master on Jan. 20, but commissioners will have the final say.

Rodney Thrash can be reached at or (813) 269-5303.


Hearing Tuesday

A public hearing will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday

at the County Center, 601 E Kennedy Blvd., second floor.

Plan for upscale Westchase apartments draws opposition 01/15/09 [Last modified: Thursday, January 15, 2009 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Hillsborough approves miniscule cut to property tax rate, give $2 million to bus system


    TAMPA — Hillsborough County Commissioners on Thursday approved a decrease in the property tax rate for next year that will save most homeowners a little pocket change.

    Passengers are seen near a bus at Westfield-Brandon Transit Center Thursday, July 13 in Brandon. On Thursday, commissioners approved a $2 million one-time payment for the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority. ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times
  2. 5 things to know before Tampa Bay Comic Con this weekend


    Tampa Bay Comic Con returns to the Tampa Convention Center this weekend, expected to attract more than 55,000 like-minded nerds mingling with cosplayers, celebrities, artists and sellers of comic books and collectibles.

    Surrounded by the bridesmaids dressed as Disney princesses and groomsmen dressed as Marvel superheroes, Gwen Walter of Venice, Fla., kisses her husband, Shawn Walter, also of Venice, after their wedding ceremony on day two of the 2016 Tampa Bay Comic Con in the Tampa Convention Center on August 6, 2016. The pair got engaged at Megacon 2015 and were married wearing "Nightmare Before Christmas"-themed costumes. Two different couples were married in Room 24 on the second day of the Tampa Bay Comic Con 2016. ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times
  3. Baker releases endorsement of 40 Midtown pastors


    Rick Baker announced Thursday that he has the support of 40 Midtown pastors and religious leaders, evidence he says of his "overwhelming support" in a crucial part of the city.

  4. A Taste of Tampa Bay: Noble Crust in St. Petersburg

    Food & Dining

    Noble Crust opened on north 4th Street in St. Petersburg, an area light on ambitious restaurants, in 2015. Chef Rob Reinsmith and his team are serving up a blend of southern cuisine and Italian-style cooking, including the restaurant's signature fried chicken. The Noble Crust brand recently expanded beyond its St. …

    Pizza at Noble Crust. [Photo by MONICA HERNDON | TIMES]
  5. HomeTeam 100: Players 11-20


     Rising senior DE/TE Judge Culpepper (right) tackles OL Bryce Love during practice at Plant High School in Tampa, on Tuesday May 2, 2017.