VALRICO — The landowner hoping to turn 19 agricultural acres in Valrico into a retail and office park is appealing the Hillsborough County Commission's denial of its rezoning application.
In a 5-2 vote at the Jan. 15 land use meeting, commissioners sided with residents who oppose the development on the property bordered by Lithia-Pinecrest, Brooker and Valrico roads. GLH Enterprises filed a petition with the circuit civil court last week to review the decision.
"The board's actions violated GLH's due process rights, departed from the essential requirements of the law, and were undertaken without the support of competent substantial evidence," according to the petition.
An attorney for GLH did not respond to calls for comment.
In an effort to alleviate concerns of county staffers and the public, developers changed the site plan six times since they submitted their initial application in May.
A zoning hearing master and Planning & Growth Management recommended approval contingent upon numerous conditions, which the developer agreed to meet. Also, Planning Commission officials determined the rezoning to be consistent with the county's comprehensive plan.
Hundreds of residents have attended meetings showing strong opposition to the development. They've said the retail and office center would be an eyesore and that the surrounding roads can't support the traffic that would come with it.
Several commissioners agreed about the traffic concerns, saying the infrastructure is not in place.
Opponents have also argued that the proposed development isn't compatible with the Brandon Community Plan, a study that has not been finished.
Kevin Smetana can be reached at (813) 661-2439 or firstname.lastname@example.org.