Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Warehouse on way for Sun City farm surrounded by conservation land?

A 2.6 million-square-foot industrial facility may soon be built on what is now a farm surrounded on three sides by conservation land. Inland Port Systems is applying for a county Comprehensive Plan amendment that would pave the way for about 300 acres to change from agriculturally zoned land to light industrial. The facility would serve as a transfer hub for imports.

SKIP O\u2019ROURKE | Times

A 2.6 million-square-foot industrial facility may soon be built on what is now a farm surrounded on three sides by conservation land. Inland Port Systems is applying for a county Comprehensive Plan amendment that would pave the way for about 300 acres to change from agriculturally zoned land to light industrial. The facility would serve as a transfer hub for imports.

SUN CITY — Just north of the Manatee County border, a pepper farm sits off U.S. 41. Wetlands, which dot the 390 acres, interrupt its neat rows.

But if a development company gets its way, a 2.6 million-square-foot industrial facility will replace the farm, which abuts more than 2,500 acres of conservation land.

Before Inland Port Systems can even get the permits to build a large warehouse that will help distribute goods that come through the ports of Tampa and Manatee County, Hillsborough County must amend its Comprehensive Plan to allow for it. A public hearing on the issue takes place June 8.

In documents submitted by Wilson Miller, planners admit that the proximity to wetlands and conservation land initially posed a problem.

Conservation land scheduled for restoration by the Southwest Florida Water Management District surrounds three sides of the property. On a map, the farm sticks out like a puzzle piece in the restoration project — and the water district wants it. Swiftmud has been trying to buy it from owner J.T. Reeder for years, but his asking price was too high.

If the county allows its development, Inland Port Systems execs say they will help with the restoration. They've proposed to zone about 300 acres for light-industrial use and about 90 acres for nature preservation. They also say their warehouse is better for the environment than a farm because they'll treat the water before it leaves, and they won't have agricultural runoff laden with fertilizers and pesticides.

Still, one group of neighbors worries. Sundance Homeowners Association members think there isn't enough buffering of the wetlands. They also expect an increase in trucks traveling nearby roads, said board member Ralph Greenlee.

He wrote a letter to the planning committee complaining that the proposed development goes against the South Side Community Plan. He called it "an affront to the men and women who have sacrificed for their community."

He called on committee members to reject the amendment.

So far, local agencies are okay with the plan amendment.

Even the Environmental Protection Commission didn't have any problems with it. Commission official Gordon Leslie simply warned that industrial facilities often create noise, odor, dust and smoke, which the EPC regulates. And the commission's go-ahead doesn't mean it will grant permits requested down the road.

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at jvandervelde@sptimes.com or (813) 661-2443.

Warehouse on way for Sun City farm surrounded by conservation land? 04/16/09 [Last modified: Thursday, April 16, 2009 4:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Inside the Rays continuing historically bad slump

    Blogs

    The numbers tell the story of the Rays inexplicable ongoing offensive slump, and the words detail how tough it has been to deal with.

  2. How Rays' Chris Archer is branching out on Twitter

    The Heater

    Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer (22) leans on the railing of the dugout during the All-Star game at Marlins Park in Miami, Fla. on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times

  3. Candidates for governor get emotional talking about their gay siblings

    Blogs

    Occasionally in today's hyper-rehearsed and contrived world of political campaigns one witnesses moments that are so honest and real, we can't help but understand we're not just listening to another politician give his or her stump speech; We're listening to a human being who understands personal pain at least as well …

    Chris King talking to reporters in Tallahassee
  4. Southern heritage groups sue to keep Confederate monument at old Tampa courthouse

    Local Government

    TAMPA — Groups that say they support Southern heritage filed a lawsuit late Friday trying to halt the removal of a Confederate statue from downtown Tampa.

    Workers place boards around a Confederate monument on Hillsborough County property in Tampa on Thursday, August 17, 2017. It took 24 hours to raise private funds in order to move the statue from its current location.
  5. Bucs mull options at right tackle as Dotson awaits MRI

    Bucs

    Right tackle Demar Dotson, the Bucs' most experienced offensive lineman, will undergo an MRI on his injured groin Saturday, three weeks before the season opener.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneer Demar Dotson, offensive tackle, brought his coffee and breakfast to One Buc Place, 7/31/15, as he reported to training camp.