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Petition for condo project withdrawn

A planner on the project cites a lack of time, not the opposition to the building, as the reason for dropping the proposal.

By MICHAEL A. MOHAMMED
Published March 9, 2007


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TAMPA - A development company is backing away from its effort to build a 1,500-unit multistory condominium project on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard.

Giunta Group Ltd. is withdrawing its petition to rezone 644 acres just south of Tampa Palms from wetlands to residential.

The project drew stiff opposition from local residents, many of whom worried the condos would worsen the already congested traffic on Bruce B. Downs. Some have alleged that Giunta Group delayed a zoning hearing on the matter in an effort to shake off vocal protesters.

A Feb. 8 letter from Paula Harvey, director of the county's Planning and Zoning Services Division, warned the developer that if it did not complete its application in time for a May 1 hearing, the application would be withdrawn.

Ty Makey, the principal planner on the project, said this week that wasn't enough time. He said the developer is withdrawing its petition.

Harvey said she decided to put a stop to the application because "it had gone on too long with no action or inquiry at all," not because of local opposition.

"After a while, it's costing the county money," she said.

Maggie Wilson, a Tampa Palms taxing district consultant who has led opposition to the project, greeted the announcement with wary optimism.

"It's a two-edged sword," she said. "I consider this a momentary reprieve, but I don't think it's a surrender."

Michael A. Mohammed can be reached at mmohammed@ sptimes.com or 813 226-3404.

[Last modified March 9, 2007, 06:15:40]


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