Sunday, April 22, 2018
News Roundup

Proposed Oldsmar subdivision would cater to wounded veterans

OLDSMAR — During a concert last October, country singer Toby Keith brought Sgt. Josh Cooley onstage before singing his patriotic hit American Soldier. A former Pasco County sheriff's deputy, the Marine reservist suffered a serious brain injury when a roadside bomb exploded in July 2005 in Iraq.

Todd Adams, a Pinellas County businessman, says that seeing Cooley onstage changed his life.

"I woke up the next morning thinking that there was something I could do," said Adams, 47. "It spawned an idea to put up some housing for vets who are wounded — combat wounded — and we thought we could build each individual house to their need."

Adams wants to build his veteran-inspired housing development, dubbed Heroes Hope, in Oldsmar. On Tuesday, the Oldsmar City Council didn't take a vote but appeared to give an initial nod to Adams' proposal to build 30 single-family homes on 12.7 acres south of Lafayette Boulevard and east of State Street.

The city staff gave the proposed project its blessing. The City Council will address the issue again at its May 15 meeting.

"This is going to be the best thing (for the property)," said Vice Mayor Jerry Beverland.

In 2006, the city approved a development agreement with Adams for 15 homes on the property. Tuesday, Adams asked for permission to build 30 units instead and for the property to be rezoned from estate residential to Planned Unit Development (PUD), which allows more flexible design of the subdivision.

Three neighbors questioned the rezoning and the increased density. They also didn't want large oak trees to be cut down in a proposed 35-foot buffer.

"Some clearing will be done and it would be a shame to take down those old trees," said Kirch Gessner, who lives nearby.

Council member Linda Norris agreed.

"I want to save as many oak trees as we can," she said.

Denise Binette, who also spoke at the meeting, questioned the density of the proposed project in a letter to the City Council.

"We wanted to escape the uniformity of subdivisions and PUDs where each house looks like the other," Binette wrote. "We sought out a neighborhood and a city with more character."

The city staff said the contents of the 2006 agreement for the development are much the same as the one presented Tuesday. Adams agrees to construct the State Street extension south of the Progress Energy easement to Wellington Avenue in return for transportation impact fee credit. He is to complete the construction of a gravity sewer line in return for a credit from the city for wastewater impact fees and to design and install reclaimed water lines.

"If a vet is hurt and wants a piece of property and gets a loan, we will build a house to their needs. Or if they want to bring their own builder in, we will help," Adams said. "Anything we can do for a man or woman who suffers either mentally or physically defending our freedom, we should do it."

Comments
Rays’ Carlos Gomez hits two-run walkoff homer to beat Twins for series sweep

Rays’ Carlos Gomez hits two-run walkoff homer to beat Twins for series sweep

ST. PETERSBURG — With every swing, there is a chance Carlos Gomez is going to do something extraordinary with the baseball bat.He may swing so violently that he spins himself into the ground as if he were an oil drill. Or, you could see him sna...
Updated: 1 hour ago

nationwideTravelers face delays as jet engines inspectedScores of Southwest Airlines travelers were facing delays or cancellations Sunday due to emergency inspections following the mid-air explosion of an engine on one of the airline’s 737s last week...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Waffle House hero says shooter would’ve had ‘to work to kill me’; another crude Theta Tau frat video surfaces at Syracuse; more in U.S. news

Waffle House hero says shooter would’ve had ‘to work to kill me’; another crude Theta Tau frat video surfaces at Syracuse; more in U.S. news

TennesseeShooter had ‘to work to kill me’The man who wrestled the gun away from the nearly naked Waffle House shooter in Nashville said Sunday if he were going to die, the gunman would "have to work to kill me." Police and Waffle House CEO Walter Ehm...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Lottery resultsNumbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, please go to tampabay.com/lottery.Pick 2, 3, 4, 5Sun., April 22, midday:2-2 7-3-9 4-4-6-8e_SRit3-8-8-6-0Sun., April 22, evening:6-2 8-6-0 8-3-9-8e_SR...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Islamic State suicide bomber kills 57 in Afghan capital

Islamic State suicide bomber kills 57 in Afghan capital

Associated PressKABUL, Afghanistan — An Islamic State suicide bomber carried out an attack at a voter registration center in the capital Kabul on Sunday, killing 57 people and wounding more than 100 others, said officials from the Afghan interior and...
Updated: 2 hours ago
China, feeling left out, has plenty to worry about in North Korea-U.S. talks

China, feeling left out, has plenty to worry about in North Korea-U.S. talks

BEIJING — As North Korean leader Kim Jong Un prepares for his meetings with the presidents of South Korea and the United States, China has found itself in an unaccustomed place: watching from the sidelines.Worse, many Chinese analysts say, North Kore...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Deputies: Florida man on LSD knocks out teen girl at RaceTrac while her parent pumps gas

Deputies: Florida man on LSD knocks out teen girl at RaceTrac while her parent pumps gas

ST. PETERSBURG — A man punched a 13-year-old girl inside a RaceTrac convenience store Saturday, knocking her unconscious as her parent pumped gas outside, Pinellas deputies reported.Kolbe Wayne Smith, 27, of St. Petersburg now faces charges of aggrav...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Developer Bill Bishop created

Developer Bill Bishop created "walkable communities"

Bill Bishop was a developer by definition, but those who know him best considered him to be an artist whose canvas was Hillsborough County.Among the communities he created from scratch are Pebble Creek, Westchase, Waterchase and Highland Park. He als...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Dozens of businesses looted amid Nicaragua unrest

MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Dozens of shops in the Nicaraguan capital of Managua have been looted as protests and disturbances sparked by government social security reforms continued into Sunday. Human rights groups say at least 26 people have been killed i...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Scientists say global warming damage to Great Barrier Reef is irreversible; suicide bomber kills at least 57 in Kabul; more in world news

Scientists say global warming damage to Great Barrier Reef is irreversible; suicide bomber kills at least 57 in Kabul; more in world news

AustraliaReef’s damage is irreversibleAn underwater heat wave that damaged huge sections of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef two years ago spurred a die-off of coral so severe that scientists say the natural wonder will never look the same again. Scien...
Updated: 5 hours ago