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Planners oppose Lutz school site

New laws meant to encourage cooperation between school boards and local governments in locating schools might provoke a confrontation in Tampa.

Staff planners urged Friday that the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission vote against a high school site in Lutz when the commission meets on the question Monday.

The site, chosen last month by the School Board after a contentious search, is a former chicken farm on two-lane Livingston Avenue, which jams with commuters at rush hour. The planners said a high school would be incompatible with the rural area and would contribute to urban-sprawl development.

In October, a state law enacted a procedure in which local governments judge whether proposed school sites are consistent with long-range growth plans. The law requires that school sites must be consistent with the plans, but doesn't say whether the county government or the school system has the final decision.

The county's last word on the Lutz site rests with the County Commission, in a meeting on April 2.