TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. — Tarpon Springs city commissioners voted 3 -1 in favor of moving forward with apartments along the Anclote River Wednesday morning.
The multi-family development will include 404 residential apartment units.
The site of the apartment complex is on the Anclote River next to U.S. Highway 19 in Tarpon Springs.
The first reading was approved on Oct. 28, 2021, at a city commission meeting. The second reading lasted for more than seven hours as public comment stretched for hours.
At the meeting in October, the board of commissioners listened to more than 10 hours of discussion. Environmental groups and residents said they are against the project because they want to protect wildlife. They also worry the project would increase traffic on an already busy U.S. 19.
Dozens packed into the meeting Tuesday evening. More than 40 people wanted to speak before the city commission.
"We said years ago find another site, find another site, might be a beautiful project, but I don’t think it needs to be built on that piece of land," said Susan Kikta, former Tarpon Springs city commissioner.
An organization called "The Concerned Citizens of Tarpon Springs" wants to preserve the land. Developers said the plans preserve the majority of the wetlands and protect bald eagle nesting sites.
"There are eagle's nest, there are eagles, there is deer, the manatees come in there. We’ve walked that property so much in the past year, it’s so beautiful. I don’t think people realize that," said Annie Samarkos who is against the project.
The project also includes a clubhouse, on-site recreational amenities, parking and stormwater facilities. No word on when construction will begin.