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Heritage Isles seeks 433 more homes

The city will weigh whether there is enough capacity on Cross Creek and Bruce B. Downs to accommodate the additional traffic.

By JOHN BALZ, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 20, 2002


HERITAGE ISLES -- Developers of Heritage Isles have a new vision for their property, one that eventually will include 433 more homes than the original plan.

U.S. Home Corporation is asking the city of Tampa to approve a rezoning petition to build an additional 295 homes on the property. It is also asking to rezone 46 acres of land called the Spicola Tract, where it already has reached a general agreement with the city for 138 homes. That parcel sits in the middle of Heritage Isles.

The additions would bring the total number of homes to 1,320. Of these, 520 would be townhomes.

Although Heritage Isles submitted its rezoning application in January, the city will take up the proposal at a meeting later this month.

Catherine Coyle, a planner in the city's Land Development Coordination department, said developers had to address issues of traffic, upland habitat and the project's final size before asking for city approval.

Projects of this size can take more than a year, Coyle said.

According to a city study, traffic would thicken on all major roads surrounding the development. These include Cross Creek Boulevard, Morris Bridge Road and Bruce B. Downs Boulevard.

The city has not made a recommendation on the overall project yet, but the new homes will add an estimated 2,200 traffic trips each day.

"The question at hand is whether there is enough capacity on Cross Creek and Bruce B. Downs to accommodate additional traffic from the units," said Mahdi Mansour, with the city's transportation department.

Of the trips nearly, three-quarters would use Cross Creek and Bruce B. Downs.

About 260 homes already are occupied in Heritage Isles, a country club community in northeastern New Tampa.

The city parks deparment ruled that the northern strip of the 46-acre piece of land, named for former Hillsborough County Chief Judge Guy Spicola, must be set aside for upland habitat.

-- John Balz can be reached at (813) 269-5313 or at balz@sptimes.com

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