Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Oldsmar leaders get a look at plans for new cottage community


Here's the vision: 52 cottages, each one a little different. All of them will have front porches and rear garages that open onto back alleyways. The mostly modest-sized homes will be different colors. They'll be energy-efficient. They'll be spaced close together, but every home will border green space or another special feature of the neighborhood.

On Tuesday night, Oldsmar leaders got a first look at initial plans for Hayes Park Cottages, a 52-home development that would be built on vacant city-owned land near downtown.

They liked what they saw. After viewing a proposed neighborhood layout and artists' renderings of cottage designs, the Oldsmar City Council unanimously approved a site plan for the project.

"We still have a lot of work to do, but we're making great progress," said John Bews, an Oldsmar resident who has a home design company and is partnering with the city to develop the site. "We think we've got something special here in a built-out county."

The goal is to provide affordable workforce housing that is near businesses, schools and recreation, said Marie Dauphinais, Oldsmar's director of planning and redevelopment.

The 3.8-acre property south of Hayes Road and east of Pine Avenue is near Richard Rogers Park, Cypress Lakes Industrial Park, Brooker Creek Corporate Center and Forest Lakes Elementary School.

No one is ready to break ground yet. City Manager Bruce Haddock noted that the city and Bews haven't finalized a development agreement at this point. "We've got a long ways to go," added Vice Mayor Jerry Beverland.

Bews intends to start construction next year.

The size of the homes will range from 840-square-foot "micro houses" or "studio cottages" to 1,700-square-foot mid-sized homes. A few will be duplexes. Many will be clustered around a "village green" area.

The new homes are to be priced competitively with older houses in the region.

"The whole reason for this community and the partnership between us and the city is to essentially lower the sales price to make it affordable," said Bews, managing partner of Davis Bews Design Group. "We suspect there's some pent-up demand."

The Hayes Park Cottages are named for Lorenzo Hayes, the first black chief of Oldsmar's Fire Department.

At Tuesday night's Oldsmar City Council meeting, one of the development's neighbors said he was worried about flooding.

James Pasco Jr., who lives on nearby Douglas Road, has previously wrangled with Oldsmar over code enforcement issues on his property and the city's construction of a road through his front yard nearly three decades ago.

Pasco said he's worried about water runoff from the new neighborhood because several feet of fill is being used to elevate the site.

"Right now our properties are getting flooded," he said. "Everything around us is built two or three feet higher than we are."

However, Bews said the Southwest Florida Water Management District would require that stormwater runoff from the site be piped to a retention pond. "We are required to keep basically all the water on our property," he said.

Mike Brassfield can be reached at or (727) 445-4151. Send letters to the editor at

Oldsmar leaders get a look at plans for new cottage community 06/20/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 8:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. From the food editor: Almond-Crusted Chicken Tenders


    I decided my almond chicken obsession was becoming a bit much.

    Almond Crusted Chicken Tenders. Photo by Michelle Stark, Times food editor.
  2. Forecast: Soggy, yet hot, workweek ahead across Tampa Bay


    A soggy workweek is ahead across Tampa Bay as decent chances for scattered storms remain consistent over the next several days.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  3. Travel ban, Kennedy retirement speculation the focus as Supreme Court prepares for break


    WASHINGTON — Before taking their long summer break, the Supreme Court justices are poised to act on the Trump administration's travel ban and a separation of church and state dispute involving a Missouri church playground.

    Justice Anthony Kennedy, shown in 2007, has given no public sign that he would step down this year and give President Donald Trump his second high court pick in the first months of his administration. Kennedy's departure would allow conservatives to take firm control of the court. [Associated Press]
  4. Florida education news: Guns, charter schools, drug education and more


    HOSTILE WORK PLACE: A legal review determines that while a University of South Florida technology center former director might have been boorish and hostile, …

  5. Fire crews battle blaze at apartment complex near Seminole Heights


    Fire crews are battling a blaze that broke out early Monday morning at an apartment complex near Seminole Heights, according to Tampa Fire Rescue.