OCC unanimously approves rezoning request, paving the way for 52-unit town home development next to the library

A rezoning request was recently approved for a one-acre slice of land adjacent to the Oldsmar Public Library, potentially paving the way for a 52-unit town home development to be build on the site.

The Oldsmar City Council unanimously approved a rezoning request for an acre of land adjacent to the library earlier this week, potentially paving the way for a 52-unit town home development to be built on the City-owned land.

The 5-0 decision on second and final reading switched the zoning from Residential Single Family (R2) to Town Center Commercial Neighborhood (TCCN) and came with little discussion, save for one resident making a case against the proposal.

Dale Renbjor, a member of the planning board, which unanimously approved the request earlier this year, who lives behind the subject property, said had he known the parameters of the zoning change, he would not have voted in favor of it.

Oldsmar resident Dale Renbjor speaks before the City Council on Tuesday, July 25, 2017.

“As a member of the planning board, I felt I was kind of not given all the facts about what a TCCN would mean versus an R2,” Renbjor told the Council on Tuesday, August 15, noting the new designation allows for building heights of 55-feet and road grading requirements that would push “more mucky stuff down in my neighborhood.”

“If I had known these facts when it was presented to me at the planning board, it would not have been a four to zero vote,” he added. “So, I am opposed to this rezoning.”

The Council members thanked Renbjor for his comments, but added such concerns would be addressed during future phases of the site’s development.

“I think ultimately the protection for the citizens comes in the site plan,” Council member Eric Seidel said. “I don’t think that happens here.”

Mayor Doug Bevis added the issues would be addressed in a different forum while stating, “ultimately, we do have some control over what goes in there.”

A rezoning request was recently approved for a one-acre slice of land adjacent to the Oldsmar Public Library, potentially paving the way for a 52-unit town home development to be build on the site.

The decision to rezone the property comes at a time when several sections of the city are experiencing a development boom.

New town home developments are coming to the downtown district as well as at the southwest entrance of Oldsmar; the Woodlands Square shopping plaza is currently undergoing a major renovation; and City officials are still attempting to bring a $50 million mixed-use development to the area surrounding City Hall.

Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis.

And although it looks like the mayor’s plan to relocate the Tampa Bay Rays to a swath of land on Racetrack Road is basically dead, rumors have been swirling that the iconic Oldsmar Flea Market property at the intersection of Racetrack and Tampa roads is for sale.

Following the recent publication of an article about the 20-acre property being put up for sale for $12 million on Loopnet.com, officials for the flea market have denied it is for sale, while the listing now states the property is off the market.

Regardless what happens to that coveted, high-traffic spot, there’s no denying Oldsmar is in the midst of an upswing in development.

“I think it goes well with the new homes across the street and the town homes at the southwest entrance of the city and the revitalization of the Woodlands Square Plaza,” Mayor Bevis said following the ribbon cutting of the Washington Park Village town homes last month.

“I think all these projects are great for the community.”

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