Help fight 170 houses next to E.G. Simmons Park on Tampa Bay
Please send a letter to oppose this zoning change
(see sample letter & hearing dates below)
On a wet clump of mangroves & sandbars in Tampa Bay, next to E.G. Simmons Park at the end of 19th Av. in Ruskin, developers want to change the zoning to get 5 times more housing than their current zoning allows, to go from 1 house per 5 acres (AR) to 1 house per 1 acre (ASC-1) on 170 acres.
Of the site’s 170 acres, only 29 are uplands while 141 acres are wetlands — mostly underwater! You have to see the aerial photos to appreciate the insanity of adding residential housing density to these submerged lands and mangroves growing knee-deep in Tampa Bay. There can be no reason to include the mangrove wetlands in the rezoning, unless it is to get extra “entitlements” for more density to “cluster” into condos onto the beach later (in a future rezoning).
The site is surrounded by nature preserves and parkland (see maps) and much of it has been designated “Significant Wildlife Habitat” by the county. It is home to bobcats, otters, foxes, woodstorks, ibises, and all the fish & marine creatures that depend upon mangrove habitat.
The entire parcel is in the Coastal High Hazard Area, where homes are vulnerable to flooding & storm damage, so additional housing raises insurance risks & costs for all of us. This flood-prone site is at the end of a 2.25-mile-long stretch of road which the county Transportation planners have classified as substandard. Yet this substandard stretch of 19th Av. is the evacuation route for this project and for many hundreds of other homes between this site and Hwy 41.
The county’s Comprehensive Plan says we should be limiting growth inside the Coastal High Hazard Area and outside the Urban Service Area. The southern half of the site is outside the Urban Services Area.
Please see photos, maps and more details here:
Be sure to put “RZ 11-0589” in the subject line, and at the top of your letter.
CC: Brian Grady <email@example.com>
Subject: Opposition re: RZ 11-0589 in RuskinOpposition re: RZ 11-0589 in RuskinPlease put a copy of this letter in the case file for review by the Zoning Hearing Master, and consider me a Party of Record.Dear Zoning Hearing Master,The current zoning of 1 house per 5 acres over the 170-acre site is more than enough in this ecologically sensitive area, within the Coastal High Hazard Area. Certainly, no increase in density should be granted to the portion of this site that is outside the Urban Service Area. All wetlands, submerged lands & mangroves should retain their current zoning, and not be included in a zoning category designed to allow residential housing on one-acre lots. Furthermore 19th Av., the evacuation route for this vulnerable coastal area, is substandard and cannot handle much more additional traffic.Please deny this rezoning request for the safety of the residents, the protection of our natural resources, and the quality of life in the community.Sincerely,Your name & address
Please send letters NOW, so they can be considered by county planners & staff, who are right NOW making their recommendations. Letters must be received 2 business days prior to the hearing date to be included in the record.
Please try to attend the hearings:
Sept. 13, 9:00 a.m: FINAL County Commission Hearing
County Center, 2nd floor, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa
(Oral Argument forms due August 15 – 25)
Stay tuned as hearing dates may change
Please forward this message to other concerned citizens.
More info in the case file online:
Log in is “public,” password is also “public.”
Click “Document Repository” then “query”
In the big window, enter the “Tracking #” number (11-0589) then click “query”
Click the button next to the file number, then click “open”
Or you can contact the case planner, Isabelle Albert:
Thanks for your help!