City Council to vote on whether developer can fill in Rocky Point lagoon to build townhomes

TAMPA — The Tampa city council will vote on whether or not a developer can fill in part of the bay so townhomes can be built.

It's been nearly 50 years since any part of the bay has been filled so homes can be built, and residents are concerned about the impact on wildlife as well as flooding.

A New York-based developer wants to fill in three acres of a lagoon at Rocky Point to build townhomes. 

"I’m surprised this thing wasn't killed early on," said USF Geologist Tim Dixon. 

Dixon says there’s a reason dredge and fill projects haven’t been used since the early 1970’s.

"After a few decades those areas will flood," said Dixon. 

Dixon says the flooding of Shore Acres in St. Pete is a perfect example of this. 

"This type of urban development is a bad idea," said Dixon.  

The same New York developer, Prime Companies, has also purchased underwater property near Cypress Point Park and other areas around the bay.

And residents fear the city will open the door for this to keep happening. 

"If it's water it should stay water," said Nancy Wood, a resident who lives nearby. 

They also worry about manatees and dolphins they see in the area. 

"I’m just not for that I mean where would these animals go?" said Salome Acevedo, who works nearby.

The City-County Planning Commission and Army Corps of Engineers have already approved the zoning plan to fill the waterway. City Council will have the final vote tonight. 

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