MacDill panel: Limit growth

Condos should not be built close to the base, a study finds.

Published June 23, 2006

TAMPA - High-density housing needs to stay out of potential crash zones near MacDill Air Force Base, a high-powered committee concluded Wednesday after a yearlong study.

As condominium towers began to sprout throughout South Tampa, the city started the Joint Land Use Study to determine how to protect the Air Force base from development encroaching on its flight line.

The study's policy committee consists of Mayor Pam Iorio, Air Force Wing Commander Col. Margaret Woodward, City Council member John Dingfelder and County Commissioner Kathy Castor.

The committee met for the last time Wednesday and announced its recommendations, based on the analysis of a technical team.

The study recommends that future developments surrounding the base should be frozen, and that no density or height increases be allowed. Existing homes near the base can remain as they are.

The study also highlights accident potential zones in the neighborhoods northeast of the base, and calls for a reduction of the density allowed in those areas in the future.

The zone closest to the base, a clear zone, should have no further development.

Recommendations include mending the city's comprehensive plan to include a new land use category and changing the zoning code to include five new zoning classifications.

The study and recommendations will be presented to City Council for approval July 20.

The Tampa Bay Builders Association supports the recommended restrictions. Executive vice president Joseph Narkiewicz will present the council a letter at the hearing.

"MacDill Air Force Base is not only essential to our nation's security, it is also an integral part of our community and its economic base," Narkiewicz writes.

Al Steenson of the Gandy/Sun Bay South Civic Association welcomes the restrictions.

"It's just to keep the growth in the manner that it has gone, so it doesn't get out of hand," Steenson said.

The city will hold a series of public workshops to discuss recommendations from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 6 and July 10 at the Gandy Civic Association Hall at 4207 W Oklahoma Ave.

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