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Another 40 single-family homes planned on Race Track Road

By DAVID PEDREIRA

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 21, 2000


KEYSTONE -- Once a quiet drive through the country, Race Track Road is fast becoming one of the hottest locations to build in Hillsborough County.

A Maryland corporation is the latest to join the boom. Ryland Homes wants to build up to 40 single-family homes on 10 acres of land at 14889 Race Track Road, just south of Nine Eagles Road.

Ryland has requested a rezoning so it can build four homes per acre. Each home would have a 5,000-square-foot lot, and would be connected to Hillsborough County's water and sewer system.

The builder has tentatively placed wetland conservation areas in several portions of the site. A zoning hearing master is scheduled to consider the application in July.

Just last week, the County Commission approved a controversial land swap off Race Track Road to the south, which will add up to 120 homes to the area. That deal was opposed by the Keystone Civic Association. (Petition 00-0881).

COUNTRYWAY: County staffers and the local planning commission have put their stamp of approval on a request by Beazer Homes to build more than 300 homes and town homes on land at North River Road and Old Memorial Highway.

Beazer Homes plans to build a subdivision tentatively called Country Chase. It would include 196 town homes and 115 single-family homes on 84 acres of land.

County land use staffers say the project encourages compact infill development, which has become a mainstay of suburban planning.

The planning commission also approved the project, saying it is consistent with the county's comprehensive plan.

The project still has to go before the county commission for approval. (Petition 00-0460).

TOWN 'N COUNTRY: A minister asked a land use hearing officer last week for a special use permit to allow a new church on the corner of Hanley Road and Nesting Place Court.

The Rev. Richard Guzman, pastor of Iglesia Sion Pentecostal Asembleas de Dios, hopes to build a 13,500-square-foot facility that would include a 365-foot sanctuary and office space on the 3.5-acre parcel.

Guzman is requesting a special use for the facility. County staffers approved the plan, saying it was generally compatible with the surrounding area. The land use hearing officer's decision should be filed in the next several weeks. (Petition 00-0315).

TOWN 'N COUNTRY: The Yellow Rose Steakhouse and Saloon on Memorial Highway received a license from the county to serve alcohol in 1975, but that license only covered about half of the restaurant's floor space.

County staffers discovered the discrepancy after receiving neighborhood complaints about noise at the popular eatery, 5951 Memorial Highway, which is within 50 feet of homes to the north.

In essence, one table in the restaurant may be legally zoned for alcohol, while another is not. A waitress could potentially walk into an unzoned area of the restaurant and technically break the county's liquor laws.

All of this forced the steakhouse to request a new liquor license. But after reading of numerous noise complaints at the site, county staffers recommended denial of the special use to a land use hearing officer.

While staffers concede the Yellow Rose has not violated the county's noise ordinance, and is an area properly zoned for alcohol licenses, they state that establishments that serve alcohol should be farther away from homes.

Could the Yellow Rose avoid this bureaucratic quagmire by setting up "no-drinking" areas similar to the ubiquitous no-smoking section?

The hearing officer is expected to make his decision in the next few weeks. (Petition 00-0395).

TOWN 'N COUNTRY: St. Christopher's Episcopal Church has asked permission to open an after-school child care center at its location on the southwest corner of Webb Road and Memorial Highway.

The church plans to provide the service for up to 45 children, from ages 5 to 12.

The Tampa Metropolitan YMCA has agreed to provide financial and administrative management of the program.

County staff recommended approval of the plan last week to a land use hearing officer. (Petition 00-0588).

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 272-5920.

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