Officials vote no on growth change
By Catherine E. Shoichet and Rodney Thrash, Times Staff Writers
Published February 29, 2008
TAMPA - Changes to the county's growth plan that would pave the way for a proposed industrial park near Interstate 4 are premature, county commissioners said Thursday night.
Orlando's M.L. Carter development wanted a land use change on 94 acres near I-4 and McIntosh Road. Representatives of the developer said that was the perfect spot for an industrial park and could draw high-paying jobs to Hillsborough.
"The county's missing many opportunities," attorney Vincent Marchetti said.
But commissioners said they wanted to wait for the county staff to complete its study of the I-4 corridor.
About 20 people spoke against M.L. Carter's proposal, which they said would jeopardize the county's rural communities.
"This is absolutely outrageous that you would even consider this," said Terry Flott, president of the Seffner Community Alliance.
The commission voted 6-0 against the land-use change. Commissioner Kevin White left before the vote.
After that, Marchetti withdrew another proposal on the agenda: allowing the extension of utilities into rural areas for "economic development."
Commissioners were scheduled to vote on two other controversial amendments, but hours earlier, developer Stephen J. Dibbs withdrew his request to remove 305 acres from the Keystone-Odessa Community Plan, which governs growth in the northwest Hillsborough community, and asked commissioners to postpone until 2009 considering a proposed denser development near Lutz-Lake Fern Road and the Suncoast Parkway.