Thursday, October 4, 2018

County sets discussion of Industry near Celery Fields for Oct. 10

Email Oct. 4 from Fresh Start:​

To all who care about the Celery Fields Area:

While Fresh Start was working to find, vet, and present community ideas for the public lands at Apex and Palmer, the Board hired a Miami consultant, Lambert Advisory LLC, to assess Quad parcel #3 for rezoning and sale.

In August, Lambert turned in an assessment that the county could obtain the highest price if parcel #3 is rezoned for Industrial Use. The parcel could hold an 80,000 s.f. warehouse or other such industrial operation, Lambert stated.

Without recommending for or against approval, County staff has scheduled the Board to discuss rezoning the parcel to Industrial on Oct. 10.

If the Board wishes, it will vote to forward the proposed Industrial rezoning to proceed through the public process: Neighborhood Workshop, Planning Commission, Final Board Hearing. 

Three questions stand out:

1. If the fragile roads near the Celery Fields need to be addressed before allowing a simple park on them -- as Commissioner Caragiulo stated to Fresh Start on Sept. 12 -- what would justify the Board's initiating an industrial rezoning that will generate additional large truck traffic?

2. Lambert Advisory's report compared industrial uses with residential, office, and commercial for parcel #3, and states unequivocally that an industrial zoning would bring the highest sale price ("highest and best use" actually means "best price"). Others question this conclusion, however. 

In reviewing various plans submitted to the County within the nearby 200-acre MEC area of the Fruitville Initiative, it appears that proposed land uses are all multi-family residential. Further, it is our understanding that while office and retail uses are also being considered, there appears to be little interest in industry. Given that these property owners presumably are marketing their properties to the highest and best use, there seems to be a significant disconnect between the reality created by the Lambert report and what's actually occurring on the ground. Therefore, the Lambert finding warrants rigorous review and reconciliation to assure that the return on the public’s investment is not being short-changed.

3. Fresh Start repeatedly asked to speak with Lambert, and was denied. Lambert was tasked with gaining a knowledge of the Community (see scoping document below); how was that mission helped by blocking communication with the community?

More industry

​In addition, ​James Gabbert is working out final details of his planned Waste Transfer Station on 6 acres along Porter Rd. and Palmer Boulevard west of parcel #2. Gabbert has said the facility will generate 100 trucks a day, entering and exiting on Palmer Blvd. at Bell Rd.​ If he meets a few technical hurdles, he can build without further public review, or even a new traffic study.​

Action Item:

This coming Wednesday, Oct. 10, the Board will consider the Lambert recommendation to rezone parcel #3 for up to 80,000 s.f. of industrial use (time to be announced). If you are able to attend, please put it on your calendar. No need to speak -- just being there will mean a lot. 

Fresh Start is still seeking more information and will update soon.

Thank you,

The Fresh Start Executive Council

Restaurant Depot, Tampa

No comments:

Post a Comment