Prior to the regularly scheduled city commission meeting, the commission held a special meeting at the John. R. Trinkle Center.
The Plant City Commission held a special meeting at the John R. Trinkle Center on Thursday at 5:30 p.m., prior to their regularly scheduled city commission meeting.
The public hearing was in reference to the application by South Florida Baptist Hospital for the designation of a nearby Brownfield area to be called the South Florida Baptist Hospital Economic Enhancement Area. The designation of the area, once completed, will facilitate the remediation of the property to residential standards by Florida Baptist Hospital.
In accordance with the Brownfields Redevelopment Act, the local governing body must conduct a minimum of two advertised public hearings on the project, one of which must be in close proximity to the subject area. The special meeting filled that requirement as the Trinkle Center lies just 1.4 miles from the Brownfield area and also served as one of the two required public hearings, the second of which will take place on Sep. 13 as part of a standard city commission meeting.
Once in the regularly scheduled city commission meeting later that evening, much of the night revolved around a proposed map amendment that would change the future land use designation of a .94 acre plot of land — located in the northeast quadrant of Plant City, south of Williams Road, north of E. Sam Allen Road, along the west side of N. Wilder Road — from Residential-1 to Residential-6, matching the roughly 718 acres of property located directly to its north, west and south that are currently a part of the unified site plan for North Park Isle. This change would come with the intent of ultimately including the land in the development of North Park Isle.
The land was purchased after the purchase of the initial 718 acres that lies adjacent, leading to this proposed amendment coming after the fact.
“In the simplest terms, they were filling a hole,” City Manager Bill McDaniel said. “They did everything around it because they couldn’t get that particular parcel. Now they have it and they’re just plugging it into their existing development plan.”
While the land would be approved for six dwelling units per acre, with a maximum of five dwelling units for this individual parcel, in the current phase of the development the effective allowance would be 2.5 units per acre although further phases will follow.
The Commission also held a transmittal hearing for a text amendment that creates a Residential-16 future land use plan category for the Imagine 2040: Plant City Comprehensive Plan.
Similar to an action taken in 2008 that created the category of Residential-9, bridging the wide gap between Residential-6 and Residential-12, the City of Plant City has requested that Planning Commission staff develop an additional residential future land use plan category to bridge the gap between Residential-12 and Residential-20 as a forward-thinking action, even though no plans are currently in the works to utilize the new category at this time.
“Right now, developers that fall somewhere between the R-12 and the R-20 are having to seek greater entitlements than they actually need,” McDaniel said. “That is very problematic, or considered problematic, in the planning phases. R-16 gives them a middle ground where they can get entitlements that are closer to what they actually want to build. So it gives you that middle step. [Plan Hillsborough’s Executive Planner Mark Hudson] also used that term that it adds to the palette to development or zoning land use changes that we have to offer to developers. It’s basically filling the gap between 12 and 20.”
The Residential-16 category would presumably be used for higher-density dwelling areas such as townhomes or apartment complexes.
The commission also approved a request to replace the turf on two fields at Ellis-Methvin Park, turf that is actively deteriorating due to excessive rains in past years and slow-draining soil despite efforts to revive the turf.
The turf has deteriorated to a point where replacement is necessary for safety on the playing surface.
The project will include eradication of existing plant material, soil testing, adding and laser-grading topsoil, adjusting irrigation heads as needed and installation of the new turf. Materials and labor for the project is planned to be purchased from World Sports Turf and Marketing LLC for a total cost of $72,029.48, with $235,307 currently available for park improvements.