TAMPA — A plan to increase commercial development in Tampa Palms southeast of the Bruce B. Downs Boulevard/Interstate 75 interchange passed a major hurdle Thursday.
The Tampa City Council voted to rezone the property to allow for shops, restaurants, hotels, apartments and an assisted living center on 247 acres east of Bruce B. Downs Boulevard.
The developer, Warren Kinsler of New Tampa Inc., sought to add 116,700 square feet of commercial buildings on the land extending from near Cypress Preserve Drive north to Interstate 75.
The proposal largely was aimed at increasing the amount of commercial square footage allowed on property already designated for retail use.
Residents in the nearby Buckingham and Tuscany subdivisions expressed worries about losing neighborhood trees and increased traffic, particularly where Compton Drive intersects Commerce Palms Drive and Tampa Palms Boulevard.
About a dozen residents attended Thursday’s city council meeting. Several asked the council to delay a decision to give residents more time to seek a compromise with Kinsler.
“All we are saying is give us a little more time to do a new (traffic) study,” Buckingham resident Michael Colitz said.
Buckingham resident Ram Ramadoss described it as a matter of public safety.
City Councilwoman Lisa Montelione, who represents Tampa Palms, said she is working on a plan to address the residents’ concerns, but said she could not deny the developer’s land-use rights.