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County to scrutinize SR 60 zoning

Editor's note: This column follows zoning petition requests for new commercial, retail and residential developments to provide you with specific information about what's being planned in your community. We'll also alert you about public hearings so that you can make your voice heard. Petition numbers are provided in bold to help you get more information from the county.

BRANDON: The Hillsborough County Commission at its land use meeting on Tuesday agreed to create design guidelines for development and redevelopment of property on State Road 60.

The effort will serve as a demonstration project for roads throughout the county.

"Time is of the essence," said commissioner Ronda Storms. Redevelopment is already occurring on SR 60 just east of Interstate 75. "If we do not catch it now, we will forever lose our opportunity. It will be at least another 30 years before this board has the opportunity to see some redevelopment."

Several commissioners said that if left unaddressed, new development will look much the same as it does now.

"I think we all agree that 60 is a mess and something needs to be done about it," said Commissioner Pat Frank, who voted in favor of the project with the understanding that it will be a one-time expense.

A consultant will be paid up to $30,000 to use the latest urban planning technology to produce before and after graphics of signage, architectural features, landscaping and retention ponds. The work will begin immediately and should take about three months, says Bruce McClendon, director of Planning and Growth Management.

After that, members of the public will be invited to a series of community meetings to provide input.

RIVERVIEW: Avid Engineering is seeking to rezone 26.5 acres at the northeast corner of U.S. 301 and Hackney Drive from manufacturing and planned development to planned development. The developer is considering two options for the property: either intense commercial use and a mix of housing types or 430 townhomes. A zoning hearing master will review the request Monday. (Petition RZ 03-0318)

RIVERVIEW: Beazer Homes is asking to rezone 36 acres on Bloomingdale Avenue southwest of U.S. 301 to planned development. The land is currently zoned for planned development and agricultural, single family, which allows one home per acre. Beazer wants to build 264 townhomes at the site. The landowner will hold on to a 7.22-acre commercial section in the northeast corner of the property and is requesting permission for the construction of up to 70,000 square feet of commercial uses. A zoning hearing master will review the request Monday. (Petition RZ 03-0317)

SUMMERFIELD: The law firm of Ruden McClosky Smith is seeking to rezone 35 acres at the southwest corner of U.S. 301 and Big Bend Road to planned development. The proposed project is a 285,000-square-foot shopping center. The parcel, owned by the Diocese of St. Petersburg, is currently zoned agricultural rural, which allows for the construction of one unit per 5 acres. A zoning hearing master will review the request Monday. (Petition RZ 03-0316)

STELLING VILLAGE: Craig Aagaard is seeking to rezone a 1.8-acre tract on U.S. 301 south of Stelling Drive from agricultural, single-family to business and professional office to construct a 15,682-square-foot medical office. A zoning hearing master will consider the petition Monday. (Petition RZ 03-0377)

VALRICO: The Bell Shoals Church of Christ has filed a petition for a special use permit of 2.64 acres on Lithia-Pinecrest Road. The church wants to operate a school on the site, which is part of a larger 43-acre parcel where a new church will be built. The property meets the requirements of the land development code for a special use permit, which all private schools must have. The facility will be a private school with students from pre-K to eighth grade. Buildings will be 25,000 to 30,000 square feet, and will accept up to 550 students over the next 10 years. Enrollment at the existing school, at the Bell Shoals Church of Christ on Bell Shoals Road in Brandon, is 150. A land use hearing officer will consider the request on April 21. (Petition SU 03-0543)

When and where

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. All hearings before a zoning hearing master begin at 6 p.m. on Mondays or Tuesdays; commission meetings begin at 9 a.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. Both are televised on government access channels. Land use hearing officer hearings, which are not televised, begin at 9 a.m. every third Friday. Basic information about each petition is available online by petition date. For information, call 276-2058.