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Families in Southern Hillsborough County growing more concerned over new development

Posted at 6:51 PM, Feb 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-11 18:51:37-05

SOUTHERN HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. -- New housing developments in Southern Hillsborough County continue to worry folks who live there and with more development coming, families are fed up with all of the traffic.

“I’m guessing the demand is there but they’re putting them up so fast that we don’t have the infrastructure for them, we don’t have the schools available,” said Jennifer Delgado, who lives in Riverview.

That concern is shared by several Hillsborough County commissioners. Delgado says with all those new homes comes major traffic.

“Every house has about two to three cars, they’re putting all those cars on the road,” she said. “It’s increasing traffic and it’s increasing anxiety among drivers and it’s increasing everyone’s commute times.”

In December, county commissioners froze new housing development for a very specific part of the Balm Wimauma area. That means people can still expect new construction and new neighbors.

Delgado says it needs to be planned out more.

“You can’t just put homes there, we need to have restaurants, we need schools, we need culture,” she said.

There’s two new developments happening just south of Rhodine Road that have already been approved by the board. A third development, along Lithia Pinecrest Road, is still in question with several commissioners concerned about the lack of schools, infrastructure and protecting agricultural land.

The nearly 90 acres of land is currently zoned under Agricultural Rural. The developers would like to get the land rezoned for Agricultural, Single Family Conventional.

The Developers say there would likely be 50 to 52 homes developed if approved. They estimate, because of all the wildlife, 25% of the property would need to be set aside.

Commissioner Kimberly Overman saying she feels it’s the “wrong type of growth for this rural area” and notes the development would be 100 feet away from Lithia Pinecrest, an F-rated road.

Hillsborough County school board staff reviewed the request and found that Barrington Middle and Newsome High do not have enough space to accommodate new kids that would come from that new development.

They’d like the developer to come back with design ideas on March 10 at 9 a.m. to ease those concerns. Delgado says if neighbors really are concerned, they need to show up and voice that to county commissioners.

The meeting will take place at 601 E Kennedy Blvd 19th floor in Tampa.

“If there is one of those nice white signs that pops up in your neighborhood that says surprise guess what we have a proposal, show up at the planning meeting,” she said.