Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Downs, city like idea of annexation into Oldsmar

OLDSMAR — By annexing into the city of Oldsmar, Tampa Bay Downs would be allowed to build resorts, restaurants, hotels and other developments directly across from the horse track, the city's planning and redevelopment director said this week.

"It'll be sort of a mixed-use development," Marie Dauphinais said during Tuesday's meeting of the Oldsmar City Council. "Commercial uses. Industrial uses. They're not really sure at this time what they're planning to do."

Until Tuesday's meeting, the property's specific development potential was largely a mystery.

In an application for annexation filed with the city last month, Tampa Bay Downs attorney Gordon Schiff typed "mixed uses" when asked to describe the proposed use of the property.

When the St. Petersburg Times asked him then what that meant, Schiff said, "The petition speaks for itself and we hope it will move forward in a positive manner."

Schiff didn't respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Tampa Bay Downs sits on Race Track Road in Hillsborough County. Directly across the street, in unincorporated Pinellas County, is 100 acres of racetrack-owned land. Signs, fences, power line towers, railroad tracks and stormwater ponds dot the property, which is valued at nearly $2 million.

Officials with Tampa Bay Downs have been trying to pull it out of the East Lake Special Fire Control District and annex it into the city of Oldsmar for at least two years. The property is surrounded on most sides by Oldsmar. And by joining the city, Tampa Bay Downs would be taxed once.

Now the racetrack pays three different taxing authorities, and the district is one of them.

"We have a better ability to serve than East Lake does," Oldsmar Mayor Jim Ronecker said Tuesday.

As it stands now, if Tampa Bay Downs applied for a building permit from Pinellas County, it wouldn't be able to develop anything on the land.

"Right now, the way it's zoned is agricultural estate and the future land use map for that area is industrial limited," said John Cueva, the county's zoning manager. "Because the zoning is not consistent with the land use map, if they came into our office today, we would not be able to issue a zoning permit for any type of industrial use."

Oldsmar, on the other hand, would create a new zoning category that permits Tampa Bay Downs to build — among other things — a hotel with 50 rooms per acre. The height of buildings would not be able to exceed 80 feet.

"It is something special to get this much industrial land in any city," Ronecker said.

There are still additional channels to go through before the annexation becomes official. Ordinances authorizing the annexation and the zoning changes will come to the City Council on June 15 for a first reading and public hearing.

But on Tuesday, officials were cheering as if all the formalities had been completed.

"Our city just got bigger," Vice Mayor Doug Bevis said.

"And a lot more valuable," Ronecker said. "A good day for the city of Oldsmar. No question about that."

Rodney Thrash can be reached at rthrash@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4167.

Tampa Bay Downs, city like idea of annexation into Oldsmar 05/19/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 8:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Water Hogs: During drought, hundreds of Tampa Bay homes guzzled a gallon of water a minute

    Drought

    When Amalie Oil president Harry Barkett plunked down $6.75-million for his Bayshore Boulevard mansion, he picked up 12.5 bathrooms, a pool, a hot tub, an elevator and a deck bigger than some one-bedroom apartments.

    During one of the worst droughts in the Tampa Bay region's history, hundreds of houses used more than a gallon of water a minute. ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times

  2. PolitiFact Florida checks out Rick Baker's talking point about the growth of St. Petersburg's A-rated schools

    Elections

    Rick Baker has used mailers, forums and social media to relay one big message in his campaign for St. Petersburg mayor: Schools in St. Petersburg saw drastic improvements when he was mayor from 2001 to 2010.

    Rick Baker, candidate for St. Petersburg mayor
  3. Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelly talks family, songwriting and more before Tampa show

    Music & Concerts

    A while back at the Grammys, Charles Kelley found himself in the same room as Paul McCartney. The Lady Antebellum singer, a seven-time Grammy winner in his own right, couldn't work up the courage to say hello.

    Lady Antebellum perform at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Friday. Credit: Eric Ray Davidson
  4. Clearwater suspect due in court after 9 die in sweltering San Antonio truck

    Nation

    SAN ANTONIO — Nine people are dead and the death toll could rise after emergency crews pulled dozens of people from a sweltering tractor-trailer found parked outside a Walmart in the midsummer Texas heat, victims of what officials said was an immigrant-smuggling attempt gone wrong.

    San Antonio police officers investigate the scene where eight people were found dead in a tractor-trailer loaded with at least 30 others outside a Walmart store in stifling summer heat in what police are calling a horrific human trafficking case, Sunday, July 23, 2017, in San Antonio. [Associated Press]
  5. Email warning ignored before St. Pete started spewing sewage

    Water

    ST. PETERSBURG — A draft report lays blame for the city's sewage crisis squarely on the administration of Mayor Rick Kriseman and a cascading series of errors that started with the now infamous shuttering of the Albert Whitted Water Reclamation Facility in 2015.

    Signs at North Shore Park in St. Petersburg warn people in September 2016 to stay out of the water due to contamination from partially treated sewage from the city's overwhelmed sewer system. St. Petersburg dumped up to 200 million gallons of sewage over 13 months from 2015-16. A new state report blames much of the crisis on mistakes made by the administration of Mayor Rick Kriseman, but also critcizes past administrations. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]