Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Residents oppose development near busy Valrico intersection

VALRICO — Worried about traffic, crime and stormwater runoff, more than 100 residents drove to downtown Tampa on Monday night to oppose a planned retail and office park in Valrico.

Dressed in red shirts, they spilled into the hallway at the County Center, where zoning hearing master Steve Luce listened to a half dozen pleads against an application to rezone 19 agricultural acres bordered by Lithia-Pinecrest, Brooker and Valrico roads.

A developer plans to build nearly 100,000-square feet that will be used largely for offices and retail stores, with little support from those who live in the area.

When Luce asked if anyone wanted to speak in opposition of the development, nearly everyone in the room stood.

Attorney Vincent Marchetti, who represents property owner GLH Enterprises, said the site plan is consistent with the county's comprehensive plan and that Monday's hearing wasn't the forum to debate the need for the development.

Neighbors disagreed.

"We don't want it because we don't need it," said lawyer Patrick Dekle, who lives near the site. "There is everything within 5 miles that any of us could want from a store."

Neighbors worry about the effect on Lithia-Pinecrest Road, which county officials plan to widen to at least four lanes once funds are available.

Marchetti said developers have tried to alleviate concerns of neighbors and county staff by amending the site plan six times and changing the project's time frame. They decreased the number of entrances, modified building plans and agreed to delay most of the development until Lithia-Pinecrest Road is widened.

"We've tried to reach out to the community," Marchetti said. "We've done that through meetings; we've done that with other correspondence."

Luce will make a recommendation and submit it to the County Commission for a vote on Jan. 12.

Kevin Smetana can be reached at or (813) 661-2439.

Residents oppose development near busy Valrico intersection 11/19/09 [Last modified: Thursday, November 19, 2009 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Woman killed in overnight Temple Terrace apartment fire, city says


    TEMPLE TERRACE — A woman died early Sunday as a result of a fire at an apartment complex, city officials said.

  2. Video: Indianapolis 500 drivers in fiery crash somehow walk away uninjured

    Auto racing

    Scott Dixon and Jay Howard avoided injury in a spectacular crash - or what Dixon labeled "a wild ride" afterward - during the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.

  3. Homeland security chief defends Kushner's alleged proposal for 'back channel' to the Russians as 'a good thing"


    Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, the lone administration official to speak out publicly about reports that Jared Kushner sought a back channel to communicate with the Russian government, defended the move, saying it was a "good thing" for the U.S. government.

    Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, listens during a meeting with small business leaders at the White House on Jan. 30. [Washington Post photo by Jabin Botsford]
  4. After hard charging on health care in 2016, Marco Rubio is slow, careful


    As a presidential candidate, Marco Rubio pitched an Obamacare replacement and tore into Donald Trump for not having one. "What is your plan? What is your plan on health care? You don't have a plan," the Florida senator aggressively challenged in a February 2016 debate.

  5. Report: Florida counties part of liver disease cluster


    STUART — Four counties along Florida's Treasure Coast make up a cluster with high rates of both deaths from liver disease and algae blooms.