As local governments consider approving real estate developments around the Tampa Bay area, decisions must be made on the basis of facts and data, not rumors and hyperbole.
Unfortunately, as our Anclote Harbor multi-family project is going through the approval process in Tarpon Springs, this has not been the case. Our development company, a family business in business for over 60 years, has seen a small group of opponents voice concerns that do not show an understanding of our plan, unaware that our project represents one of the best possible uses. for on-site development.
We’ve heard it all, from how our project will result in dozens of deaths on 19 United States to how it will negatively affect global warming, cause massive flooding, and destroy the environment in the surrounding region. None of these statements are correct.
The site has commercial zoning, giving the owner the right to construct various uses, including retail and office space. In fact, a 400,000 square foot office development and a 200,000 square foot Super Wal-Mart have already been approved on the site. The Morgan Group’s proposal for multi-family use represents what is known as âreduced zoning,â with a lower density than permitted by current commercial zoning.
In addition to the discussion of the impact of the project on the site, much of the conversation about our app focused on traffic issues. First, we want the community to know that we will never put the lives of citizens in danger.
Traffic studies show that our multi-family development project would create less than one-fifth of the traffic generated by other types of commercial uses, such as a shopping center. The multi-family community of Anclote Harbor would generate a number of daily trips roughly equivalent to those generated by a fast food restaurant.
Additionally, the traffic adjustments proposed in the plan, which include a U-turn and deceleration lanes for site entry off US 19, have been approved by the Florida Department of Transportation. Throughout US 19, many developments were built with similar access.
In addition to addressing traffic concerns, we have carefully addressed neighbors’ concerns about the potential environmental impact on the site and incorporated the feedback into our draft. Our plan would preserve and enhance 21 of the site’s 22 acres of wetlands, plant over 6,000 trees, preserve and protect existing eagle nests, and limit buildings and parking areas to just 12 of the site’s 64 acres.
Importantly, the project is expected to create over $ 1.4 million in ad valorem taxes per year, $ 2.9 million in impact fees, and $ 8 million per year in new local spending for the city. . We strongly believe that this is the best use of the site for the community.
It is disappointing that opponents of the project do not want to work for any sort of compromise or take factual information into account when forming their opinions. Still, we worked hard to incorporate community views into our plan, which would provide something much of northern Pinellas County lacks – newer luxury rental housing.
As the project moves on to the City of Tarpon Springs Commission, we request that this request be considered with the understanding that many similar projects have been built along US 19 without negative consequences and are assets to their respective communities. . And we ask the commissioners and the community to consider the facts and positive impacts of the project for Tarpon Springs, which would be significant.
Kamal Salame is a development partner of the Morgan Group, which offers the Anclote Harbor multi-family project in Tarpon Springs.