The Hillsborough County Commission on Tuesday approved the rezoning of 290 acres that will comprise Brandon Main Street.
The commission's okay includes an adjustment to the original plans made at the request of the Guagliardo family, the largest landowner in the proposed corridor.
Vince Marchetti, an attorney for the Guagliardos, told commissioners that 13 of the family's 70 acres would be undevelopable with the regulations included in the proposal as it was written.
Residents and county officials envision Brandon Main Street, located between Lakewood and Pauls drives, and the Brandon Parkway and Oakfield Drive, as an urban downtown.
The zoning changes reflect special rules and design guidelines for the project approved by the County Commission in November.
The land within Main Street, previously approved largely for agricultural use, has been divided into four "districts" with varying standards for residential density and nonresidential use.
The districts include a main town center; a second, less dense town center; a neighborhood support district along Oakfield Drive; and a gateway district along Pauls between Oakfield and State Road 60. The idea is to guide private developers through the creation of a neo-traditional mix of shops, homes, offices and civic space.
A portion of the Guagliardo family property was supposed to be in the Town Center II district. But the 13-acre parcel contains a large creek, and access to the land was limited by rules when the Crosstown Expressway was built. That prevents the grid-patterned streets and building location requirements specified in the Town Center II district.
Marchetti asked the county to apply a tweaked version of the gateway zoning rules to the property, and commissioners complied.
The new regulations were effective immediately after the commission approved the rezoning by a vote of 6-1. Ronda Storms, who has opposed the project because she doesn't believe Brandon residents were involved in the planning process, voted against it. (Petition 04-0318)
RUSKIN: With the Ruskin Community Plan still in process, approval of new developments in the area continues. On Tuesday, county commissioners okayed a request to rezone 286 acres on the southeast corner of 21st Avenue SW and First Street SW to planned development.
Metro Development plans to build a subdivision called River Bend on the property, which is owned by the Dickman family and borders the Little Manatee River.
The approved plans include a number of compromises made to ease the fears of Ruskin residents who worried about the impact the community would have on the Little Manatee River and adjacent environmentally protected property.
Attorney Judith James agreed to eliminate the small, 4,400-square-foot lots from the site plan. But she said Metro Development was not willing to commit to a minimum of 8,400-square-foot lots in the village next to the protected lands. Instead, she offered 5,500-square-foot minimums with 8,400-square-foot parcels along the border of the protected parcel. She also offered to reduce the number of homes in River Bend from 1,000 to 900.
No Ruskin residents went to Tuesday's meeting to oppose the plan. Bruce McClendon, director of the county's Planning and Growth Management department attributed the lack of opposition from residents to the dialogue between the community and Metro Development before the hearing.
Still, Commissioners Jan Platt, Pat Frank and Kathy Castor worried about the development going in so close to natural resources. In addition, Frank and Castor said they were unsettled by all the rezonings occurring before the Ruskin Community Plan - which sets guidelines for development - is finished. The process is in its early stages and, at best, isn't likely to be in place until early next year. In the meantime, thousands of new homes have been approved in Ruskin.
"Neighbors are concerned about trying to do a meaningful community plan with all this development coming in," Castor said.
Nonetheless, commissioners approved the rezoning request. (Petition 03-1628)
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 http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/pgm/zoning/hearings.html hearing date. For information, call 276-2058.