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Neighbors want roomier parcels


© St. Petersburg Times, published February 11, 2001

LUTZ: Neighbors of an ill-fated apartment zoning on Livingston Avenue are trying, with Commissioner Jim Norman's help, to prevent a revival of the plan.

After meeting with the neighbors, Norman plans on Tuesday to recommend that county commissioners initiate changes to land designations in the area, including property on which the apartments were proposed. The change, which would return to the commission after nearly a year of study and hearings, would shrink the land's potential development density by at least half.

If any of the nine property owners oppose it then, Norman would vote against the change, he said.

"I would carve them out," he said. "That's a property-rights issue."

The parcels total about 36 acres southeast of the intersection of Livingston and Curry Road. Of those, 14 acres were part of a land package proposed last May for 360 student apartments. The plan was retracted after a developer withdrew and a property owner died.

Five of the nine parcels include the homes of the owners. Norman said most of the owners support the changes.

The group of neighbors said the change was needed so the county could draw a border between south Livingston Avenue, which has become lined with apartments in recent years, and the more rural stretches farther north.

"We feel that these properties have become the gateway to the rural community of Lutz," they wrote.

County commissioners are scheduled to hear the following petitions Tuesday:

LUTZ: IRT Capital Corporation, the owner of the Publix shopping center planned for 8.5 acres at Lutz-Lake Fern Road and Merry Lane, seeks permission to increase the plaza's square footage by 3,000 square feet. Although commissioners approved a request for the 63,000-square-foot plaza in June, the Planning Commission does not support this requested addition. (Petition 01-0198)

CARROLLWOOD: Florida Veterinary Services wants to add 1,900 square feet of floor space to its clinic at the Busch Lakes Office Park, located at the southeast corner of Busch and Twin Lakes boulevards. The clinic, now approved for a 14,000-square-foot office, would use the extra space to replace a temporary trailer that serves as a diagnostic and treatment facility. (Petition 01-0282)

Where and when

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. The zoning hearings begin at 6 p.m., and the commission meetings begin at 9 a.m. Both are televised on government access channels. The land-use hearing officer hearings, which are not televised, begin at 9 a.m. For information, call (813) 272-5920.

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