PALM HARBOR, Fla — Developers in Palm Harbor want to build a three-story self-storage facility on five acres of vacant land near U.S. Alt 19.
The developers need the county to rezone the area from residential to commercial in order to complete the sale and move forward with construction on the Beyond Self Storage facility. But some neighbors nearby don’t want that.
Linda Bock says Pinellas County notified her of the proposed project ten days ago. She lives within 600 feet of the property and has been there for about 15 years. She says other neighbors not far from her didn’t know what was being planned for that area, aside from a small sign on the corner of Missouri Avenue and Alt 19.
She says the two lots have always been filled in with trees and tall grass.
"What they're going to do instead is put this gigantic building, this big monumental building there instead of having woods,” she said.
She and other neighbors don’t think the building will fit into the area which is mostly zoned residential.
"There's a reason for that. There are plenty of places on Alt 19 that's zoned commercial where they could put this and where it would fit better,” said Lesley Klein.
They are concerned about flooding too - the property is in flood zone AE, which is a high-risk area.
Plus, the Pinellas trail borders the property and they’re afraid extra traffic from moving trucks could be a problem.
The developers say they only see about four customers an hour and that traffic will be minimal.
"I personally think that 25 homes, which is what it's zoned for, a family is a much better option,” said Bock.
They would prefer to see a dog park or even a trail on that property. They hope the county would buy the land instead. The property owners say they gave the county two years to buy the land, but couldn’t get the $1.2 million they asked for. They also would have liked to see the county buy the land.
But they have seen the plans for the storage facility and think it's a good idea. They believe it will fit in that space perfectly.
But Klein says they intend to express their concerns to county commissioners Wednesday and hope others will too.
"We do have a voice and people can't just give up and say 'I can't do anything about it,'” said Klein.