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What lies ahead for old house? Move it or lose it

By Janet Zink
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 18, 2003

BRANDON -- Hillsborough County commissioners will consider the fate of the old Daniel Galvin House at a public hearing at 2:45 p.m. Tuesday.

In July, Brandon's First Baptist Church bought the house, which has stood at 201 Victoria St. for 107 years. The church wants to use the site for parking.

But members of the community and the county Historic Preservation Board voiced their concerns about demolishing the home, which is eligible for historic landmark status.

Church leaders have said they don't have the funds to restore the home, but they would be happy to see someone move it to another location.

At Tuesday's hearing, the county staff will present a report to the County Commission outlining options for moving the home.

LITHIA: The developer of FishHawk Ranch hopes the third time will be the charm in its quest to ready 26 acres for apartments or townhomes. The land where Newland Communities wants to locate the dwellings is now approved for commercial uses.

Newland first went before the Hillsborough County Commission with the petition at a land use meeting March 25. But with Commissioner Kathy Castor absent, a 3-3 vote bumped the agenda item to the following land use meeting on April 8. Castor cast her vote in favor of the project. But with Commissioner Ken Hagan absent, the vote again was 3-3.

The board is scheduled to consider the request yet again at its land use meeting April 22.

"I'm hoping we have full attendance from the board," said Don Whyte, president of Newland's southeastern division.

Commissioners who opposed the project worried the population increase would strain the roads.

But Whyte points out that the tract was originally approved for multifamily housing in 1989 and changed to office and commercial use when Newland requested a modification in 2001.

He wants to go back to the original use because a builder approached Newland about putting 160 units for seniors on the site. Whyte says the total number of multifamily units approved for FishHawk Ranch, which is 2,000, won't change because they're simply moving the units from one part of the property to another. (Petition 03-0397)

RUSKIN: The County Commission on Tuesday will review a request to rezone 33.87 acres on the southwest corner of U.S. 301 and Big Bend Road from agricultural to planned development.

The developer wants to put a 280,000-square-foot shopping center on the property, which is owned by the Diocese of St. Petersburg. The new zoning would pave the way for construction of a building 75,000 square feet or greater that might be used by a "big box" retailer, discount center, home improvement center or other large-scale retail business.

The other three corners of the intersection already are zoned for intensive commercial development and a large office project. The site is adjacent to a multifamily project on the west. (Petition 03-0316)

APOLLO BEACH: Also on Tuesday, the County Commission will consider modifying the zoning on a planned development on the southeast corner of 27th Avenue and U.S. 41 to permit the storage of recreational vehicles and boats. The 9-acre storage area would be available only to residents of Harbor Isle, a proposed 376-acre community approved for 500 homes. SouthStar Development Partners is the developer. The storage area is in the northeast portion of the project, bordered by railroad tracks to the east and industrial property to the north. It will be screened from view by a 6-foot fence or wall and landscaping. (Petition 03-0311)

-- Staff writer Michelle Jones contributed to this report.

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 at by petition date. For information, call 276-2058.

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