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Seffner growth speeds up

Published March 16, 2007


SEFFNER: Signs show that the pace of growth in Seffner is increasing. A zoning hearing master last week heard a proposal for 770 multifamily units, mostly townhouses, and six houses northeast of Williams Road and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Several residents objected, saying that placing the multi-family complex near single-family homes violated county standards for consistency.

The Planning Commission, which reviews proposals for consistency with surrounding areas and the county's comprehensive plan, disagreed. The panel told the hearing that Seffner has become a high-growth area and the proposal by owners Charles and Louise Springer is similar to several multifamily developments that have been approved.

The developer seeks to rezone 85 acres from agricultural and commercial to a planned development that would include 78,000 square feet of retail and office space on seven acres.

Seffner Community Alliance president Terry Flott argued that the proposed units would abut too many existing homes to be compatible, and that both Williams Road and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard are already overcrowded.

But as complexes that encourage residents to live, shop and work in proximity become more common, it may become harder for residents to offer consistency as a reason to preserve agricultural and residential zoning.

A county staffer told the hearing that the proposed development would fit in well with others near Interstate 75.

The request goes to the County Commission on April 24. Petition 06-1681

RUSKIN: Residents are clearing the way for a town center resulting from years of planning. A zoning hearing master last week heard a proposal to rezone just less than 85 acres along U.S. 41 for a pair of specially created town center zones. The idea: encourage a mix of business and residential uses.

The County Commission in 2005 approved Ruskin's community plan, which calls for a town center bordered by NW First Street, NE Third Street, NW Eighth Avenue and SE Second Avenue.

Development standards on a 66-acre parcel would allow for 20 units an acre. An 18-acre parcel would allow for 12 units an acre. Both would change from residential and multi-family zoning to a newly created Ruskin Town Center zoning classification, which is intended to encourage residents to create a "walkable, pedestrian-friendly town center."

Representatives of the Ruskin Chamber of Commerce, the Ruskin Historical Society, and the Ruskin Community Development Foundation praised the plan as carefully conceived.

The rezoning request goes before the County Commission on April 24. Petition 07-0517


RUSKIN: Property owners John and Margaret Yawn are asking for permission to rezone nine acres of land from residential to a planned development.

The developer proposes 78 multifamily units. It goes to a zoning hearing master on June 25, and to county commissioners on Aug. 7. Petition 06-1672

Andrew Meacham can be reached at 661-2431 or

[Last modified March 15, 2007, 07:43:49]

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