A rezoning request that would clear the way for a gas station, car wash and convenience store in Lutz has been delayed — again.
The issue was set to be heard on June 14, but has been pushed back until Aug. 16 to allow the applicant to make a correction on the site plan for the project.
Cami Corbett, with the law firm of Hill Ward Henderson, represents the applicant RKM Development.
“We realized late last week that we had an error on our site plan, with respect to screening along U.S. 41 and that is a change that by code must be made prior to the site plan deadline,” Corbett said.
The applicant failed to meet the deadline, necessitating a continuance, she explained.
“We are also hoping to have an opportunity to meet with some of the members of the community who have filed letters of opposition in the last couple of weeks. They came in sort of in the last two weeks and we haven’t had time to meet with them, so we’re hoping we can utilize this time to meet with them,” Corbett said.
Lutz resident Michelle Parks wanted to know the likelihood of the request actually being heard on Aug. 16, given the fact it has been repeatedly continued in the past.
She also asked how the applicant plans to get in touch with interested members of the community.
A zoning official said there is a time limit regarding continuances, but he wasn’t able to immediately identify when that would expire, if for some reason the hearing is continued beyond Aug. 16.
Corbett said: “We will be sending out a notice, not only to our notice list and the HOAs (homeowner associations) on our notice list, but also to anyone who has registered an objection into the record.”
She said anyone who is not yet part of the record but who wants to be contacted, can ask the county staff for her information and contact her directly.
“We would be happy to meet with anyone who wants to meet,” Corbett said.
The new hearing date is set for Aug. 16 at 6 p.m., in the Robert W. Saunders Sr. Public Library, 1505 N. Nebraska Ave., in Tampa.
The applicant is seeking to rezone the 2.6-acre parcel at 18601 U.S. 41, to allow a 4,650-square-foot convenience store and 16 gas pumps, as well as a car wash.
The parcel is adjacent to an existing Walgreens store.
The land, owned by Lutz Realty and Investment LLC, currently is zoned for agricultural and single-family conventional use. The request calls for rezoning the site to become a planned development zoning.
The request has attracted opposition, with opponents voicing objections in emails, which are included in the application’s case file.
The request also was discussed during a community meeting on June 2 at the Lutz Train Depot.
Opponents claim that the request is contrary to the Lutz Community Plan.
They also cite concerns about increasing traffic at the intersection of Sunset Lane and U.S. 41, which they said already poses dangers for motorists.
Concerns also were expressed about potential water contamination, negative impacts on property values, noise and possible negative impacts to the environment.
Those objecting also say another gas station isn’t needed, and some said they won’t patronage the business, if it is built.
While opponents are calling for denial of the request, planners from Hillsborough County’s Planning Commission have found the request to be consistent with the county’s long-range plan.
“Overall, Planning Commission staff finds this proposed use and intensity to be compatible with the surrounding area,” according to a report by Planning Commission planner David Hey.
“The proposed development also fulfills the intent of the Lutz Community Plan,” Hey added to the report that’s included in the application case file.
After the zoning hearing master considers the request, the hearing master’s recommendation will go to the Hillsborough County Commission, which has final jurisdiction over land use and zoning issues.
Published June 30, 2021