TARPON SPRINGS — City officials took a preliminary step last week toward the development of the Bayshore Heights subdivision.
With Commissioner David Banther absent from last Tuesday’s meeting, the commission voted 4-0 to enter negotiations of a development agreement with Bellaire Capital Group LLC.
Bayshore Heights is along the western shore of Kreamer Bayou. The desired development would complete the subdivision by building out roughly 12 acres of vacant property.
Commissioners shot down an attempt by a different developer to rezone the land last year for smaller lots and more homes. Nearby residents voiced concern about increased traffic and negative affects on an active eagle’s nest.
“This property is essentially the same one that the board looked at for rezoning a few months ago,” said Planning and Zoning Director Renae Vincent. “This is a different group and they are recognizing the delicacies of this particular property.”
Language in Bellaire Capital Group’s application to negotiate still states an anticipated rezoning, as necessary, to support the project.
Former Mayor Anita Protos, who lives on Bayshore Drive, restated her disapproval of any attempt to rezone the vacant land for a greater number of homes.
“We came up here a few months ago when this came before you that the residents Bayshore Drive are concerned,” Protos said. “We didn’t want any smaller lots. We wanted to keep it the same as what we have on Bayshore.”
The land is zoned as R-100, Single Family Residential. A zoning downgrade would reduce the minimum lot size for homes built on the property.
Vincent emphasized that last Tuesday’s approval of beginning negotiations is just a first in a standard, multistep process. An eventual development agreement still will have to go through a Planning and Zoning Board hearing and be approved by the board of commissioners.
“I want everyone to know that this will be a public process,” Mayor David Archie said. “Everyone can be involved and we can get out, hopefully, good information with this slowed-down process.”
Vincent added, though, that the developer could begin a project immediately and without a development agreement if its plans were for homes built within R-100 zoning parameters.