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Rezoning sought to build shopping center

The property owner, also a builder, wants to put the shopping center on Van Dyke Road near the Suncoast Expressway.

By JACKIE RIPLEY

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 23, 2000


ODESSA -- A local property owner wants to build a shopping center on Van Dyke Road, just west of the Suncoast Expressway, now under construction.

Thomas Shannon Jr. wants to rezone nearly 10 acres, at the southeast corner of Van Dyke Road and the newly realigned Tobacco Road, from its current zoning for large lot homes to neighborhood commercial.

Shannon, a former University of Florida quarterback, is a developer who led a group of investors that included Outback Steakhouse executives in an unsuccessful bid to buy the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1995.

In a written statement to the county, Shannon said his property immediately east of Van Dyke Farms "has become isolated as a result of the road construction in the area and is not suitable for single-family use."

The Hillsborough Planning Commission wants Shannon to submit a site plan for a planned development. However, Judith James, Shannon's land-use attorney, will ask for a "commercial neighborhood," zoning, said Dave Borisendo, planner for the county.

James did not return phone calls seeking comment on the project.

"With a site plan they are more restricted," Borisendo said. "They're asking to get full range of commercial neighborhood."

Commercial neighborhood uses cover a wide range of uses, including recreational, hospitality, general business, retail, banks, funeral homes, agricultural stands and convenience stores.

The petition goes before a zoning hearing master July 11.

* * *

Jackie Ripley can be reached at (813) 226-3468 or ripley@sptimes.com.

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