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Fern Ridge delays horse stable plan

Published Sep. 26, 2005

+ County rejects 7-Eleven plan at Race Track and Gunn.

+ Corporate headquarters okayed near Westchase.

+ 35 homes approved south of Linebaugh.

+ Livingston at 150th approved for 165 homes.

Centex Homes has postponed its request for a privately operated, public stable for up to 30 horses at Fern Ridge, its planned development on the south side of Lutz-Lake Fern Road, east of Hiawatha Road.

The proposal had been scheduled to go before the County Commission last week, but was withdrawn from the agenda.

The proposed stable and riding areas would cover about 50 acres on the southern part of the 150-acre project. While Centex considers that activity compatible with a condition of the original 1993 planned development zoning _ that the land remain open space _ county planners said it was more akin to "recreational spaces."

At a meeting before a land-use hearing officer last year, two people spoke in favor of the stable proposal. Both were patrons of the person who would operate the stables.

A member of the Keystone Civic Association spoke against the equestrian facilities, arguing that the county had required open space with no development.

Ultimately, hearing master Martin H. Smith Jr. last month recommended denial of Centex's request for a major modification. He noted the biggest potential problem was in the future, among the very residents of Fern Ridge, since users of the stables would get there through the subdivision.

"It is concluded that the installment of a public stable and training operation as a separate business within an isolated portion of a planned residential development would establish an inappropriate land-use and zoning relationship," Martin wrote.

"The record is absent any documentation that the proposed use would be integrated into and controlled by the homeowners' association as part of its common open space."

The Planning Commission has previously found that the equestrian facility was inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan. (Petition MM 99-0950)

The following items went before the County Commission last week:

KEYSTONE: By a 4-3 vote, commissioners denied a rezoning request that would have allowed a 7-Eleven convenience store along with a "village" of offices, shops and homes at the northwest corner of Race Track Road and Gunn Highway. The site Southland Corp. was considering was a nearly 10-acre tract at the corner of the two roads. Hillsborough's zoning administrator tentatively approved Southland's latest proposal, but a zoning hearing master had recommended denial, and the Planning Commission found the project inconsistent with the county's Comprehensive Plan. (Petition RZ 99-0272)

KEYSTONE: The commission approved Sterile Recoveries Inc.'s plans to build a new corporate headquarters on Race Track Road.

The Clearwater-based company supplies surgical gowns to hundreds of hospitals in more than a dozen states.

The 5 acres on the east side of Race Track, just north of the Tri-County Business Park, would eventually include nearly 54,000 square feet of office, research and development space. The land was rezoned from agricultural industrial to planned development.

The project got approvals throughout the rezoning process. (Petition RZ 00-0042)

CARROLLWOOD: Lindell Investments Inc. got the go-ahead from commissioners on its plan to develop 35 single-family lots on 9 acres north of Mullins Road and east of Thatcher Avenue at the end of Cliff Lake Lane. (Petition RZ 99-1399)

LUTZ: Windward Homes can move ahead on a project to develop 165 single-family home lots on an "irregularly shaped" 55.28-acre parcel at the southeast corner of Livingston Avenue and 150th Avenue East. The developer got approval to create minimum size lots of 4,000 square feet. The developer will preserve wetlands on the property and see that a wildlife habitat is set aside. A land-use hearing officer found that the wildlife habitat will be adequately protected and preserved as a part of the development. (Petition RZ 00-0051)

The following item went before a land use hearing officer last week:

LUTZ: St. Timothy Catholic Church presented its case for a special use permit and a variance that would allow the church to build an elementary school and a new church at the northwest corner of Lake Shore Road and Lakeside Drive. The 43,000-square-foot school would serve up to 270 students. The 31,000-square-foot church would seat about 1,300 people. If the proposals go through, it would clear the way for the Hillsborough County School Board to purchase the church's current property on Ragg Road to expand Gaither High School. (Petitions SU 00-0079 and VAR 00-0079)

Where and when

Hearings of county zoning hearing masters and land-use hearing officers and land-use meetings of the County Commission are held on the second floor of the County Center, 601 E Kennedy Blvd. The zoning hearings begin at 6 p.m., and the commission meetings begin at 9 a.m. Both are televised on government access channels. The land-use hearing officer hearings, which are not televised, begin at 9 a.m. For information, call 272-5920.