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K-Bar told to put in 4 roads to join city

The City Council is considering annexing the 1,599-home project but traffic is a concern.

By JOHN BALZ, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published July 19, 2002

TAMPA -- In order to become part of the city of Tampa, owners of the K-Bar Ranch in New Tampa must build four new roads, including an east-west road running across the middle of their property, city transportation officials said Thursday.

The roads are meant to provide traffic arteries for the 1,599 homes planned for the 2,280-acre property at the northern edge of Hillsborough County. The City Council is considering whether to annex K-Bar into the city.

K-Bar residents will use a new portion of Kinnan Road to connect with Cross Creek Boulevard, which will be widened to four lanes between Clay Gully Creek and the entrance to Arbor Greene.

The new east-west road and Beardsley Drive extension will empty out onto Morris Bridge Road, which borders the east end of K-Bar.

A fourth road, an extension of Meadow Pointe Boulevard, is expected to connect with State Road 56 and is contingent on the eastward extension of that thoroughfare by Pasco County and the Florida Department of Transportation.

As part of the annexation agreement, K-Bar owners would be required to give the city $900,000 up front. The city expects to collect an additional $2.5-million in transportation impact fees.

"What we've done is apply the transportation (requirements) rigorously and stringently," said Ron Rotella, special consultant to the mayor.

City Council member and mayoral candidate Bob Buckhorn expressed concern that the increase in cars would lead to gridlock along Morris Bridge Road.

Morris Bridge is a two-lane road and widening it will be difficult because the land is part of a flood plain owned by the state and by the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

"We're going to end up with Morris Bridge being as congested as Bruce B. Downs," said Buckhorn, referring to the north-south artery in New Tampa.

Elton Smith, head of the transportation department, said Morris Bridge would still be able to handle the traffic but acknowledged that "it will get heavier."

The east-west road will not extend into Live Oak, the development adjacent to K-Bar on the west. A path cuts through Live Oak, but county planners did not require the owners to make it a public road.

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