Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

With land use change, county makes initial move toward closing Airco Golf Course

The control tower for the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport looms beyond a golfer at Airco.

Times files (2008)

The control tower for the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport looms beyond a golfer at Airco.

Pinellas County officials are moving forward with plans to one day close Airco Golf Course and allow private development of the nearly 130-acre site.

The course, which is part of St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport, opened in 1961 and offers area golfers an alternative to more expensive private courses.

Don't expect Airco to close soon, though. Development remains a distant objective of county leaders.

"As far as the golf is concerned, it's as usual," said Larry Thomas, a county employee who manages the course. "We are open for business seven days a week."

Coming forward are two land use changes for the site. One would allow a hotel development on 10 acres; the other would permit aviation, office and industrial uses on an adjacent 118 acres.

The proposals come before the County Commission on Nov. 17 but consideration of final approval won't happen until March, said economic development director Mike Meidel.

Officials said there had been some interest from private developers in the smaller hotel site, but nothing concrete, and there are concerns whether any project could succeed in these hard economic times.

There have been no overtures regarding the larger 118-acre parcel, Meidel said, but it's hoped by changing the land use, the site will become more attractive to private developers.

In November, the County Commission agreed to explore closing Airco and building there. The decision was made after a feasibility study that suggested limiting the intensity of the project to avoid additional levels of review by state regulators.

Then, as now, the surrounding road network is inadequate. The commission agreed key road projects, like a connector between Bayside Bridge and 118th Avenue, and a limited access highway linking U.S. 19 and Interstate 275, need to be done before the site is built out.

It will be at least 2015 before the two road projects are in place, said county planner Al Bartolotta.

Meidel said he expects some portions of the Airco site to be built on before others.

"We want to go gradually," he said. "It's going to be a phased development, but this really is the first step."

Will Van Sant can be reached at [email protected] or 727-445-4166.

With land use change, county makes initial move toward closing Airco Golf Course 08/07/09 [Last modified: Saturday, August 8, 2009 12:12am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Deputies: Wimauma teacher's aide sexually molested teen, 13

    Crime

    A Wimauma teacher's aide faces charges lewd or lascivious molestation after Hillborough County deputies say he inappropriatly touched a 13-year-old girl.

    Sonny Juarez, 29, a teacher's aide in Wimauma, faces charges lewd or lascivious molestation after Hillborough County deputies say he inappropriatly touched a 13-year-old girl on several occasions while working at the RCMA Wimauma Academy, 18236 U.S. 301 S, between November 2016 and March 2017. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]

  2. Tampa Bay deputies head to UF to assist with Richard Spencer's speech

    Public Safety

    Local deputies are heading up to Alachua County in preparation of white nationalist Richard Spencer's speech in Gainesville on Thursday.

    Law enforcement is stepped up in Gainesville on Oct. 18, 2017, ahead of Richard Spencer's appearance. [WILL VRAGOVIC | Times]
  3. Gymnast McKayla Maroney alleges sexual abuse by team doctor

    Olympics

    Two-time Olympic medalist McKayla Maroney says she was molested for years by a former USA Gymnastics team doctor, abuse she said started in her early teens and continued for the rest of her competitive career.

    U.S. gymnast McKayla Maroney poses after completing her routine on the vault during the Artistic Gymnastic women's qualifications at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Maroney posted a statement on Twitter Oct. 18, 2017, in which she said she was molested for years by former Team USA doctor Larry Nassar. [Associated Press]
  4. Top 5 at Noon: Facts on Richard Spencer's Florida visit; Column: Jameis, don't be a hero; Locale Market changes again

    News

    Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:

    White nationalist Richard Spencer (C) and his supporters clash with Virginia State Police in Emancipation Park after the "Unite the Right" rally was declared an unlawful gathering August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Spencer is set to speak at the University of Florida. [Getty]
  5. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Uncertainty surrounds Jameis Winston's health

    Bucs

    Greg Auman talks about the Bucs' quarterback situation, with uncertainty around Jameis Winston's health, in his latest Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Jameis Winston takes the field for warmups before the Bucs' game against the Cardinals Sunday in Glandale, Ariz. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]