Massive project in Lutz gains county’s approval

The Hillsborough County Commission has cleared the way for a massive project at the northeast corner of Van Dyke Road and North Dale Mabry Highway.

The land, characterized by its towering stands of pines and open fields, has been rezoned to allow a mixed-use development including upscale houses, multifamily dwellings, offices, retail uses and a congregate care facility.

A pair of rezonings would transform land near the northeast corner of Van Dyke Road and North Dale Mabry Highway into planned developments that call for upscale homes, retail, office, multifamily and possibly congregate care uses. (File Photo)

A pair of rezonings would transform land near the northeast corner of Van Dyke Road and North Dale Mabry Highway into planned developments that call for upscale homes, retail, office, multifamily and possibly congregate care uses.
(File Photo)

Commissioners approved the rezoning request, without debate.

While Lutz residents have a reputation for battling proposals they believe will disrupt their way of life, in this case they worked with the applicants to devise a plan that the Lutz Citizens Coalition and nearby communities supported. It even had coalition president Mike White saying that at the time that “thus far, the system has worked exactly as it was intended to.”

The development must undergo a site plan review by the county before any construction can begin, White said. But he expects the county will ensure the plan follows the conditions approved by commissioners.

Attorney Joel Tew represented Geraci Land Acquisition LLC, and attorney Richard Davis represented Standard Pacific Homes of Florida on the side-by-side rezonings, covering approximately 251 acres. The rezoning applications were presented as companion requests at an April 21 public hearing before a land-use hearing officer.

Plans call for substantially less development than would have been allowed otherwise under the county’s long-range plan. One rezoning incorporates the Landings at Lake Pearl, a previously approved rezoning that includes 650 multifamily units and 70,000 square feet of office.

Besides those existing entitlements, the rezoning allows 240 single-family houses and 177 multifamily dwellings.

Standard Pacific Homes plans to build a gated, high-end residential community on the property.

The approved zoning allows about 25 percent of the residential development than would have been possible under the county’s long-range land-use plan. The retail uses, under the rezoning, represent about one-third of the potential allowed under the long-range plan designation.

Representatives from all sides testified at the public hearing that considerable effort was made to work out conditions that addressed concerns expressed by the community, while delivering a quality project.

“We have had a total of eight meetings with the major community associations that are directly affected by this project,” Tew said. “We’ve had very valuable, constructive input from them. We’ve listened to their concerns and we’ve made significant changes to the plan.”

The proposed developments include conditions that exceed the county’s land development code, including requirements such as increased setbacks from surrounding properties, enhanced landscaping, more stringent sign requirements, and even conditions dealing with building orientation.

Both zoning requests received favorable recommendations from the county’s planning commission and land development staff.

Conditions of the Luce’s recommended approval includes a number of transportation improvements. One calls for a signalized intersection at Exciting Idlewild Boulevard and North Dale Mabry Highway, and another calls for a new alignment leading into the Veterans Expressway that essentially will square up that intersection.

The plans also show a single access point off of Van Dyke Road, instead of the three access points that were initially requested. The limited access on Van Dyke was essential to gain the support of area residents and the Lutz Citizens Coalition, who were concerned about traffic impacts both on Van Dyke and nearby neighborhoods.

Published June 18, 2014

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  1. Carrene Cohalla says

    When will the building ever stop !
    Traffic is already a nightmare and
    the animals have no homes to go to
    of their own (except killed on the roads)
    Shame on you County Commissioners for
    letting everyone move down here for the $
    without caring about the repercussions. It’s disgusting !

    • jack Thomas says

      You are so right. Its sick. Remember the county commissioners like other politicians are bought and sold by super rich corporations. No different here. They will slowly turn Lutz into Brandon no matter what. Money is on the table and they wont not take it. Take a look a dale Mabry bow from lake park going north. Its sickening. They don’t care. They don’t live there so why should they? All they see is short sighted dollar signs. They will overdevelop this area until horrible traffic, overpopulation, and a chain fast food restaurant on every corner. Stop voting for these crooks!

    • I total agree with Carrene! This has got to stop! Lutz is getting to be like Tampa! I moved to Lutz because it was different, quiet. The animals I’ve seen being scattered all over because you are taking their land!! Such a sad, sad thing.

  2. Joe Florida says

    I noticed majorly too. Its awful. I hate to tell you all Lutz is nothing more now than a overcrowded, noisy, suburb with a ton of obnoxious northerners. Since this was written, they have put a ton of apartments, a dunk in doughnuts, more apartments, building a wendy’s, and more houses. Lutz was cool like 20-30 years ago but those days are over. My advice…sell really high to some desperate people from up north and move further out. Local government sold us out bad.

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