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Zoning

By LOGAN MABE
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 5, 2002


Smokey Bones might arrive beerless

CITRUS PARK -- Developers of a new barbecue restaurant and sports bar at Citrus Park Boulevard and Gunn Highway are moving ahead with construction but may have trouble getting permission to serve alcohol.

Representatives for Smokey Bones BBQ and Sports Bar asked a land use hearing officer for the beer, wine and liquor permit in April. Despite approval recommendations from county staff, neighbors object because of the restaurant's proximity to the Upper Tampa Bay Trail.

"There is a sidewalk that many people use to get to the trail on this side of the road," said Jean Carson, who lives on nearby Easy Street.

Carson also said the restaurant property is not properly fenced and wants to see a wall separate it from the neighborhood.

"I am objecting to this being within the limit of the trail," said Janet Hiltz, a member of the Citrus Park Civic Association who also serves on the county's Greenways and Trails committee. "There are many children and families who use this trail considerably, and it will get more so as the trail develops further to the north and to the south."

Earlene DeGagne, licensing manager for Darden Restaurants, which owns Smokey Bones, said the company "would have no problem in providing a barrier there to meet the requirement." She also argued that no drinks will leave the premises.

"As a matter of fact, there are two convenience stores right there next to the trail that sell alcoholic beverages, and they can take them anywhere," DeGagne said. "In our restaurant, we do no allow that. I do not feel it would have an impact on the trail at all."

The restaurant is set to open in December. The hearing officer is expected to make his recommendation this week. (Petition 02-0172)

LUTZ: Owners of a 7-acre parcel on Whitaker Road, east of U.S. 41, got approval from a land use hearing officer for overnight commercial truck parking. They also can use the property's southern portion for recreation vehicle and boat/trailer storage.

Some residents who live near the property expressed concerns about stormwater runoff flooding and polluting a nearby lake. But for approval, the land owners must comply with the county's drainage standards. (Petition 02-0064)

UPPER TAMPA BAY: Hunt and Hunt Properties can move ahead on plans to build offices, retail space and a warehouse on nearly 29 acres along Hillsborough Avenue west of Double Branch Road. A land use hearing officer approved rezoning of the property to allow for 35,000 square feet of office and retail space. (Petition 02-0135)

CARROLLWOOD: Long Bow Corp. will be able to rezone 10 acres along Himes Avenue, north of Hoedt Road, to build 37 single-family homes.

The company needed to change the zoning designation from agricultural-single family to planned development. The new density will allow for 3.7 housing units per acre. During initial neighborhood meetings, residents voiced concern about the size and value of the homes to be built. But the developer assured them that smaller setbacks would allow for larger homes and the sparing of more trees. Still, residents objected to the new subdivision because it would increase traffic in Hampton Village, which relies on Hoedt Road as the only entrance and exit on N Dale Mabry.

But county staffers found the proposal in line with planning standards, and a zoning hearing master approved it. (Petition 01-1552)

When and where

Hearings of Hillsborough County 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. Zoning hearings begin at 6 p.m., commission meetings at 9 a.m. For information, call 272-5920.

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