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Seffner residents fight water park construction

TAMPA — Seffner residents still don't like the idea of building a water ski park in their community.

Nearly 30 people lined up Tuesday to voice their displeasure with the proposed project to county officials.

Orlando-based McCormick Road LLC was back before a Hillsborough County zoning hearing master for special permission to excavate the property it owns near Interstate 4 and McIntosh Road to create a water park.

Located about a mile west of the intersection, the park would allow visitors to water ski and wakeboard by connecting them to suspended cables rather than motorboats.

"I would hope that you would not approve this," said Seffner activist and resident Terry Flott. "This is going to affect the community along with Highway 92 with increased truck traffic."

With no access across I-4, Flott said developers' dump trucks would have to use residential streets and U.S. 92 to access the 90 acres owned by the group. She also pointed out that county records show that U.S. 92 is an overcrowded road.

In June, McCormick Road asked the county to postpone its request to change the county's rural zoning designation to light industrial. That application, which calls for the creation of a 30-acre lake on 58 acres, is still on hold while the group waits for county planners to finish an economic study on the I-4 corridor.

This week, the group requested additional permission to excavate a portion of the property.

Tampa lawyer Judi James, who represents McCormick Road, told county officials that the "dry excavation" would consist of taking off the top of a hill to level the site. An estimated 800,000 cubic yards of dirt will be moved.

McCormick Road has tried to limit the impact on residents, James said. A subdivision and mobile home park bordering parts of the company's property were bought for $6.5-million in 2006.

The developers would use a haul route that runs through the property and will limit hours of operation, James said. With additional setbacks, there would be no impact on nearby wetlands and a heavily wooded area would be used as a buffer, she added.

The hearing master's decision on the request is expected next month.

Chandra Broadwater can be reached at cbroadwater@sptimes.com, or 661-2454.

Seffner residents fight water park construction 01/22/09 [Last modified: Thursday, January 22, 2009 3:30am]
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