I appreciate the Plant City Observer’s coverage of the Varrea development amendment public hearing. One concern I have, which I was sad to hear was not addressed at the hearing, was the effect on Plant City’s downtown district and hope for Midtown if a residential development is allowed to more than double its desires for neighborhood commercial office uses. Two thousand homes do not need nearly a thousand neighborhood commercial offices. And the drive from the proposed development to an office in Historic Downtown or the other more Plant City-centric, community-oriented commercial areas is not a burdensome one. In fact, I’ve make that drive twice a day since 1996.
Yes, a large development should be able to have adequate commercial and office use within its plan. But no, it should not become a giant beacon for “pump in” sales and commercial uses serving large swaths of customers driving there instead of our historic downtown.
Surely some will say I have a vested interest in protecting our historic downtown and, well, yeah I do. But so should we all.