Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Zephyrhills works on land swap with Acme Development Corp.

ZEPHYRHILLS — City officials hope to avoid a potential lawsuit by looking into swapping a 10-acre piece of land for about 24 acres at the north end of the airport.

Acme Development Corp., which owns the airport property, maintains the city failed to follow through on a 2005 agreement to either purchase or trade about 42 acres, split into two parcels. The city bought one of the pieces, a 17.5-acre tract, in May 2011 for a possible airport expansion, and agreed to a land swap for the remaining 24.5 acres. Council member Lance Smith and others said the swap was contingent on approval from the Federal Aviation Authority, which eventually nixed the exchange.

The council held a special meeting Thursday to discuss the dispute and decide how to proceed.

With a 3-1 vote, members directed city staff to get appraisals on the properties, negotiate with Acme, and bring a recommended solution back to council. Smith voted against the measure; Jodi Wilkeson was absent.

"I don't want litigation, but we've already done what we said we would do," Smith said after the meeting.

Council president Ken Compton opened the meeting with a hope that litigation could be avoided.

"There are two sides to this issue," said Compton. "We're not here to say who's right or who's wrong, but to resolve our differences so that everyone gets a fair shake."

City Manager Jim Drumm presented four possible options for settling the disagreement. The first — do nothing — was quickly passed over. The second, borrow money to buy the remaining Acme property, was similarly dismissed. The third was to swap roughly 10 acres of unused land on the southeast corner of Henry and Eighth streets for the airport property; the fourth, swap a couple parcels of land in the airport industrial park for Acme's land.

Acme lawyer Diane Watson said her clients were not interested in the city's airport property because other adjacent leased properties would make it difficult for Acme to get any value on the traded pieces.

Watson said Acme officials are interested in exchanging its land for the city's 10-acre piece, provided it's a fair trade.

Zephyrhills works on land swap with Acme Development Corp. 06/29/12 [Last modified: Friday, June 29, 2012 8:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review: 'The Defenders' brings out the best in Marvel's unlikeliest heroes


    The ties that bind Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist run deep. But they're just starting to figure all that out in The Defenders.

    Mike Colter, Scott Glenn, Finn Jones, Krysten Ritter and Charlie Cox in The Defenders.
  2. Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson can't keep 'The Hitman's Bodyguard' on-target


    The Hitman's Bodyguard is an assault tank on semi-automatic pilot, spraying jokes and bullets with only the ammo consistently hitting its targets. The irresistible teaming of Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson might be even funnier if they missed once in a while.

    Samuel L. Jackson, left, and Ryan Reynolds star in "The Hitman's Bodyguard." (Lionsgate)
  3. Hillsborough leaders ask for patience as multiple schools still suffer from broken air conditioners


    TAMPA — Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins and his facilities chief appealed to parents Wednesday to be patient as the district works through chronic air conditioning problems — and to advocate for more state funding.

    Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins says air conditioning problems at multiple schools are a "major concern" for the district. [SKIP O'ROURKE  |  Times]
  4. Hillsborough will leave Confederate monument up if it can't get private money to move it

    Local Government

    TAMPA — If the money needed to move Tampa's Confederate monument can't be raised privately in 30 days, then the monument will stay where it is, Hillsborough County Commissioners decided Wednesday.

    The Hillsborough County Commission voted last month to move the Memoria in Aeterna Confederate monument from the old county courthouse to a private family cemetery. CHRIS URSO   |   Times
  5. Why Noah Spence could be the Bucs' X-factor


    JACKSONVILLE — Noah Spence crouched in a four-point stance, bending low like a sprinter in starting blocks. At the snap, he took one step to his right, startling Jaguars left tackle Josh Wells with his explosiveness. Wells went for the move and Spence countered with an inside swim move, flying past Wells' right …

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Noah Spence (57) participates in training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times