Tuesday, April 24, 2018
News Roundup

Treasure Island proposal isn't what developer hoped for

TREASURE ISLAND — A major goal of a proposed planned development ordinance was to provide flexibility for developers of large projects.

But at least one large landowner along the city's northern boundary, who has been following the six-month vetting by the local planning agency, doesn't think the ordinance offers enough incentives.

The north end planned development zoning district that the proposal establishes would keep current building heights and density standards and would require a voter referendum for buildings higher than five stories and more than 50 units per acre.

An original incentive that would allow developers to gain points for using elements like green building, energy-efficient appliances and outdoor space like a plaza or courtyard has been dropped, said city planner Paula Cohen.

"Several residential areas like Key Capri Condos would be impacted on the north end because of its proximity," Cohen said. "So the local planning agency removed the credits. They felt it opened up too much opportunity."

The ordinance isn't what Greenleaf Capital, the real estate arm of HCI Holdings, was hoping for. The company is considering plans to develop its property at John's Pass, which includes 8.4 acres on the east side and 2.2 acres on the west side along with parcels that are less than an acre.

Brent Von Horn, assistant general counsel for Greenleaf, said, "It's been a long, frustrating process, but I suppose any property owner would feel the same way."

He and others from Greenleaf have been attending the local planning agency meetings for six months.

"We've been asking ourselves each step of the way whether it is worth us developing the property," he said. "This district doesn't provide any incentives at all."

To build a $100 million to $150 million high-end resort, Von Horn said more density and height are needed to make it financially feasible. Conceptual plans had a 14-story and a 10-story building on the property.

"We are also comparing current zoning to see what we could be doing now without needing to go through the process of a planned development, but we've made no decisions one way or the other," he said.

Yet Cohen and City Manager Reid Silverboard say the city is sensitive to the impact a large development would have on residents.

"The big concern for the north end development is the impact it is going to have for use, traffic generation and those types of things on the surrounding properties," Silverboard said.

"The proposed ordinance provides flexibility so that a developer can come before the city and present a project that makes sense and is deemed to be in the developer's and the city's interest," he said.

Within the north end planned development district, a mixture of land uses, building designs and arrangement of buildings on the site is allowed, Silverboard pointed out.

But Von Horn said "putting a fence around the property and waiting for the market to change is very much an option. People are convinced about what we are going to do, but it's funny because we don't know what we are going to do."

Another ordinance that would set up a planned development district in the downtown central beach area will be up next for consideration. That district might allow the incentives or credits that have been taken out of the ordinance for the north end, Cohen said.

"We realized there were different dynamics going on in the two locations," she said.

Comments
Troopers seek driver who ran from fatal crash in Trinity

Troopers seek driver who ran from fatal crash in Trinity

TRINITY — The Florida Highway Patrol said it is looking for a driver who ran from the scene of a fatal three-vehicle crash that took place Tuesday afternoon on State Road 54 at Duck Slough Boulevard.The crash took place at about 2:33 p.m., closing do...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
DNA, new plea set man free 17 years after Tampa murder

DNA, new plea set man free 17 years after Tampa murder

TAMPA — Almost 17 years ago, Dwight DuBose was condemned to spend the rest of his life in prison for a murder he says he didn’t commit.On Tuesday morning, he pleaded guilty to the crime in exchange for the promise that he would go free.DuBose, 45, wa...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
Pinellas County commits $41.7 million to Blue Jays Stadium

Pinellas County commits $41.7 million to Blue Jays Stadium

DUNEDIN — The Pinellas County Commission pulled the final trigger Tuesday on dedicating $41.7 million in bed taxes for upgrades to the Toronto Blue Jays’ stadium and spring training facilities, a pledge that amounts to covering more than half of the ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hernando County to start neutering feral cats

Hernando County to start neutering feral cats

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County will soon become a more cat-friendly community.The County Commission voted 4-0 Tuesday in favor of a policy to trap, neuter and vaccinate feral cats and return them to the wild. They hope to reduce the number of cats eut...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Days before graduation, crash kills Lakewood High senior, injures two others

Days before graduation, crash kills Lakewood High senior, injures two others

ST. PETERSBURG — A Lakewood High School student was killed and two others were injured when their car struck a tree just outside the campus on Tuesday afternoon, according to police.All three boys involved in the crash were 18 and seniors, officials ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays-Orioles postponed, doubleheader planned for May 12

Rays-Orioles postponed, doubleheader planned for May 12

UPDATE, 6:06: The Rays will stay in rotation, so Faria will slide back a day and pitch Wednesday, vs. Cobb, and Archer will get an extra day's rest and pitch Thursday, against RHP Dylan Bundy.Also of note, Cash said 3B Matt Duffy (right hamstring str...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Monday meeting may determine fate of Brooksville Police Department

Monday meeting may determine fate of Brooksville Police Department

BROOKSVILLE — Brooksville City Council holds a special meeting at 6 p.m. Monday to consider an interlocal agreement proposal by Sheriff Al Nienhuis to take over law enforcement duties from the city police.The council has been struggling with an excep...
Updated: 1 hour ago
He tried to rob two pharmacies. Both times he left empty-handed.

He tried to rob two pharmacies. Both times he left empty-handed.

TAMPA — Police are looking for a man who failed to rob two pharmacies last week.No one was harmed during the botched heists, but the man may be armed with a handgun, police said.Detectives on Tuesday released surveillance video that showed the man in...
Updated: 1 hour ago
FHP: Riverview motorcyclist critically injured in crash on I-4

FHP: Riverview motorcyclist critically injured in crash on I-4

TAMPA — A 41-year-old motorcyclist was critically injured in a Monday night crash on Interstate 4, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The crash took place at about 7:15 p.m. Cristobal Padilla, of Riverview, was riding a 2004 Suzuki motorcycle in...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Embattled Hernando County commissioner not present at Tuesday’s meeting

Embattled Hernando County commissioner not present at Tuesday’s meeting

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Commissioner Nick Nicholson was absent from Tuesday’s regular meeting, but he was still the subject of much conversation.Commissioners, stung by the nationwide publicity about Nicholson’s arrest last week on three prosti...
Updated: 1 hour ago