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Sunday, Apr 20, 2014
Brandon News

Bloomingdale residents demand road fixes


BRANDON — Bloomingdale homeowners upset about plans for a big-box store and apartments in their area want major improvements to Bloomingdale Avenue, which fronts the property and an adjacent public library.

Meeting with Hillsborough County’s public works director on Thursday, a small gathering of homeowners said they would prefer spending $564,000 in impact fees by the project’s developer, Red Cast LLC, on fixing the major east/west road. Spending the money on sidewalks and bicycle lanes — county officials suggested doing so as a possibility — won’t cut it, the residents said.

John Lyons, the public works director, said he will review previous discussions by county officials about major improvements to Bloomingdale Avenue, including widening the road. Lyons said he will report back to the homeowners with his findings.

If county staff members decide the best option is to make sweeping improvements, he said, they might need approval from the Hillsborough County Commission. Mike Williams, engineering and environmental division director, said he would guess such a project could cost about $50 million.

When Lyons and other county staff met with a larger group of residents a few weeks ago, they were greeted with a flood of disapproval for a recommendation to spend the money on roadwork nearly three miles away, at Lithia-Pinecrest and Lumsden roads.

Some of those same people belong to CAN-DO, or Coordinated Active Neighbors for Development Organization, which is suing the county for allowing development of the large store, rumored to be a Wal-Mart Supercenter. They are accusing the county of sneaking in changes to its land-use code in 2011 that allow the big-box store next to the Bloomingdale Regional Library.

(813) 259-7127