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Concurrency requirements won't apply to Trinity site

The state's plan for controlling growth won't keep out Schiller International University, according to the city's planning director. At a City Commission meeting three weeks ago, city planner Richard Follett said the state-mandated concurrency system might stop development of the former site of Trinity College on Edgewater Drive.

That possibility has been ruled out, Follett said Thursday, because the city has not yet adopted the concurrency system.

"Since the concurrency management system has not been adopted, we have no rules to enforce," Follett said.

Schiller has agreed to buy the Trinity property from current owners John and Darlene Van Harlingen. The deal is conditional upon the college getting a zoning exception it needs to operate a satellite campus there.

Schiller, which has six European campuses but none in the United States, is scheduled to have its day before the Board of Adjustment and Appeal on Feb. 28.

The concurrency management system requires that cities make sure there are adequate services in place, including water, roads, parks and sewage, before development can begin on a site.

The level of service on Edgewater Drive is F, the lowest rating. The state requires a level of service E on that road.

Roads are rated A to F. The ratings E and F are given to roads that are usually jammed.

Under concurrency, the state could bar new development on Edgewater Drive. But Dunedin is not required to adopt the concurrency rules until May 1.

"The city can follow their normal procedure until then," said Walker Banning, a planner at the state Department of Community Affairs.

The commission passed the city's comprehensive plan Oct. 19. It was scheduled to pass the implementation arm of the plan, concurrency, Feb. 1.

But some city officials expressed reservations. Telling someone they can't use property until a road is widened or sewage lines are added could bring lawsuits, Mayor Manuel Koutsourais said.

"I am glad the university is not going to have a problem," Koutsourais said Thursday. "I hope the city's board looks favorably on them."