Residents React to Developer's Proposed Rezoning at Floyd and Dale Mabry

Developer has requested a rezoning of Floyd Rd./N. Dale Mabry from light commercial/office to heavy commercial to build a Wal Mart Neighborhood Grocery and Wa Wa. Community is opposed to changes.

I attended an informational meeting at the Original Carrollwood Recreation Center this evening to review a proposed rezoning for the corner of Floyd Rd. and Dale Mabry. 

This corner was previously home to the Hudson Nursery. The new project is titled the "Hudson Market Redevelopment." 

Here are the facts that I learned from the developer, proposed tenants and engineers:

The land is currently privately owned, but in 2006, it was rezoned to approve three items:  25K sq. ft. of office space, 17K sq. ft. of light commercial (on D. Mabry) and 37 residential units (behind the office/commercial).  The developer of this proposed project is now deceased, and Brightwork is the new developer requesting the zoning change.

The zoning request would change the corner from light commercial/office/residential to heavy commercial.  The developer proposes using 47,300 sq ft to install a Walmart Neighborhood Grocery (41,180 sq. ft.) and a Wa Wa convenience store/gas station (6,119 sq. ft). It is unclear if Walmart grocery would be open for 24 hours, but Wa Wa is a 24-hour business.

This rezoning also would require the installation of a new traffic light on Dale Mabry at Floyd Road to allow access/egress from the parking lot. This light will sit between the existing lights at Lake Carroll Way and Hudson Lane.  As the property is currently zoned today, a traffic light is not required - it is only a requirement for the proposed rezoning.

State Senator Jim Norman attended this evening's review as well as an aide from Victor Crist's office (Craig Jewesak, I believe).  The overall mood from residents was pessimistic, with the following concerns being voiced:

  •  Addition of another traffic light will increase pollution (noise and air) and further congest an area that already has traffic flow issues.  The additional light would mean a total of five traffic lights in the 2.2-mile stretch between Linebaugh and Stall Road.  This was widely viewed as excessive.
  • Neighbors in the immediate vicinity are concerned about the effect on their property values.  Residents of the community that, I believe, is called "The Enclave" are directly across from the site's proposed entrance/exit.  Their properties are currently valued in the $400-500K range.  Homes in surrounding areas range in value from $96K to $600K.  I asked the Walmart representative if he had any community studies on the effects of Walmart's on surrounding residential property value, and he said he did not. His view is that they would not be putting this in if it negatively affected the neighborhood. I personally am skeptical about the quality of that answer.
  • Traffic volumes will further stress neighborhoods in the immediate surrounding areas - Floyd Road, Hudson Way and Hudson Lane.  There are currently speed bumps on Hudson Lane and Way and there is limited entrance/exit from Gunn Highway.  However, these mitigating actions have done little to quell 'cut through' driving as a short cut between Gunn and Dale Mabry.  Adding a Walmart grocery store will increase illegal cut through traffic from Gunn Highway as it provides faster access.  This property also is on a bus route, which will support bringing in additional traffic from neighboring communities.
  • There isn't a community need for another grocery store or gas station.  In the three miles on Dale Mabry between Linebaugh and Fletcher Avenue, there are four grocery stores - two Publix, one GFS and one Fresh Market - and there is a Sweet Bay accessible on nearby Casey Road. There are four gas stations with attached convenience stores in the same section of Dale Mabry of which at least two have 24 hour operations.  There also is a 24-hour Super Walmart just 2.19 miles south of the proposed location, and a 'regular' 24 hour Walmart 2.83 miles north. 
  • The pollution effects of another large paved lot on nearby Sweetwater Creek (it runs behind the proposed site) are unknown.  While the Walmart and Wa Wa reps offered guarantees that their parking lots will remain debris free and their water runoff will be handled appropriately, there was great skepticism about the actuality of that situation once they are entrenched owners. This skeptcism is specifically driven by the behavior of nearby CVS pharmacy.  Residents believe that CVS has not kept many of the commitments it made during the rezoning and construction process.

The rezoning is not a 'done deal,' and the homeowners who I spoke with this evening are gearing up to assert their opposition to this project. The land will not be purchased by these developers unless this proposal is approved by the rezoning board.

There is a public hearing scheduled for May 14 at 6 p.m. at the Board of County Commissions Boardroom (2nd Floor, County Center, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL). 

If you would like your voice to be heard post a comment on this board or, more importantly, contact your Senator and Commissioner and also submit your written comments for the upcoming hearing.  I have included contact information for State Senator Jim Norman, Commissioner Victor Crist and the hearing here for your convenience:

State Senator Jim Norman


14031 N. Dale Mabry Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33618
(813) 265-6260

County Commissioner Victor Crist

http://www.commissionervictorcrist.com/?page_id=17  (this is his e-mail page)

601 E. Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33602 Phone: 813-272-5452

Written comments or testimony:

PGM-Zoning Hearing Section

ATTN:  Land Use Hearing Officer

P.O. Box 1110, 20th Floor

Tampa, FL 33601

OR, e-mail:  hearings@hillsboroughcounty.org

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

danbennett813 April 25, 2012 at 02:55 PM
We do not need it.
Paul Streicher April 25, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Too many Wal-Marts. I would much more like to see another strip shopping center there or maybe some type of people friendly shopping/entertainment/park idea. More thought needs to go into this land for developement I think. I feel for the people nearby. I hate all the trafic lights now that don't even have flashing yellow lights from the side streets, my pet peeve.
Greg Scott April 25, 2012 at 05:37 PM
I am with the Burnbrook HOA (on the West Side of Dale Mabry, near Floyd/Hudson), and have been coordinating with residents of the Enclave HOA (on Floyd) and other neighbors. We are organizing efforts to fight the rezoning including a formal written protest to the zoning master, petitions, letters to our local and state representatives, etc. We already have email addresses from everyone who signed in to last nights meeting, but if you did not provide your email address last night and would like to be included on our email updates, SEND AN EMAIL TO BURNBROOKHOA@GMAIL.COM.
Leah Wooten April 25, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Thank you Greg. I have e-mail addresses for most of our community as well (Cedar Hollow) so I can spread the word through our little part of the neighborhood. My e-mail address is on the sign in sheet from last night and I just sent you an e-mail as well (via Mark from Old Carrollwood).
Jennifer Incontrera April 26, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Not only is the development unnecessary with all the grocery stores and gas stations already along that stretch of road, Walmart is known to be an economic drain to a community, including high loss of jobs and wages in the areas around such developments. One of several studies across the country was just released on this very subject on Monday. Because of the lure of the cheap prices, Walmart drives local competitors (including neighbors who own small businesses) out of business and those people who worked there lose their jobs. Walmart pays its employees so little that the burden of the cheap prices is then passed on to taxpayers in the form of subsidizing their many employees who have to subsist off of welfare payments from the government and their health care costs are also passed down to those of us already insured when they show up at the doctor's office and can't afford to pay. So much for cheap Walmart prices. When Walmart moves into a neighborhood, we all pay dearly!!! On traffic, I think that everyone who commutes daily on that stretch of Dale Mabry in the morning would oppose a new traffic light. There is already a HUGE backup every morning because of all of the traffic lights now. This will create a traffic nightmare and even more people will be resorting to using the back roads, through the neighborhoods to arrive more quickly at their destination, which will be a further annoyance to the residents and presenting additional safety hazards.
Leah Wooten April 26, 2012 at 04:22 PM
We have started an online petition and need to collect as many signatures as possible before the May 14th zoning hearing. Please sign this petition and forward it to your fellow residents and local business leaders. http://www.change.org/petitions/hillsborough-county-zoning-hearing-officer-and-county-commissioners-vote-no-to-the-proposed-hudson-market-redevelopment-project-mm-12-0366
Leah Wooten April 28, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Hi Jennifer - Do you have a link to the article that covered the study on Wal Mart? I'd like to be able to cite a source for that information so we can include it in our positions (if we are allowed - there are limitations on what we can talk about related to the commerce side of things). Please just post a link to what you can find here and I'll be notified by the site. Thank you! Leah Wooten
Sarah Markosen May 01, 2012 at 04:19 AM
I signed! Thank you Leah for getting this message out! Having a small business right across from the proposed site, it makes me nervous to think of this opening so close by, due to the type of traffic (people & vehicle wise) attracted by WM! I am so not a fan of that particular chain. Some people would say that it would be a plus for surrounding small service biz's like mine, but I disagree! I like the Carrollwood community & the current clientele that includes, I am not interested in the type of customer base brought in by a Wally world!
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