Valrico neighbors fighting against mixed-use development

VALRICO - Neighbors in a Valrico neighborhood are fighting against a proposed land development that would bring a mixed-use development to their backyards.

The land, near Bloomingdale and Lithia Pinecrest Road, is slated to turned into shops, an apartment complex and a Wal-Mart.

Neighbors who showed up the Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners meeting saying it would bring unwanted traffic, safety concerns and crime.

"This big box idea comes down to right and wrong. Some things are a good fit, some things don't go well together and some things do not belong," one said to commissioners.

Another was concerned about property values.

"They say $7,000? I'm sorry it's going to be $10-15,000 drop in property values. There's no way I'm going to be able to dig myself out," she says.

As is sits now the land is near a library and a high school as well as a few hundred homes.

It has sat empty for years, and neighbors say they didn't learn that the property was slated for development until a zone change back in 2011 came to their attention 3 weeks ago.

"The notices were very vague. Opaque at best. So we didn't know what was going on," homeowner Dan Grant says.

They've held neighborhood meetings in response, and Grant says the last one had at least 300 neighbors show up.

The next meeting is slated for next Tuesday and Grant says they're looking for a larger venue because they're expecting that many more people to show up.

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