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Saturday, Oct 25, 2014
Northeast News

Redesign proposed for entrance of Tampa Palms


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For nearly 30 years, Tampa Palms has established an image as a nature-rich community with tree-lined streets and spacious homes and apartments tucked off Bruce B. Downs Boulevard.

Its residents have gushed about the stately brick monuments and lush landscaping at two signature intersections welcoming residents and commuters to the master-planned development made up of 28 neighborhoods.

Some residents fear the community's polished appearance and quality of life are threatened as Hillsborough County prepares to widen Bruce B Downs Boulevard to eight lanes.

Tampa Palms, a 5,400-acre development, is the only community along the Bruce B. Downs corridor in the county where the widening project will extend though the heart of the subdivision.

In April the Tampa Palms Community Development District board of supervisors hired landscape architecture firm Hardeman-Kempton & Associates to create a multiyear, multi-project design to help the community maintain its signature look at its main intersection.

The landscape design company is proposing new turn lanes at Bruce B. Downs and Tampa Palms Boulevard, one of Tampa Palms' signature intersections.

If approved, it would result in the loss of two existing brick walls and several large oak trees near the intersection. They could be replaced brick monuments as aesthetic elements.

Jason Rinard of Hardeman Kempton proposes adding a 6-foot tall, black wrought-iron fence to dress up the monuments.

"I think there is an opportunity to carry these elements into the main roadway," Rinard said, referring to Bruce B. Downs. He also hopes to tie it in as part of a makeover area 2 in Tampa Palms.

The community development district's supervisors embraced most of the suggestions.

"It's a very intriguing beginning," Supervisor Randy Marlowe said. "I like it a lot."

Supervisor Andy Miller agreed. "I think he has put together some good initial thoughts that promote further discussion," Miller said.

Supervisor Patty Maney asked Rinard to consider a design aimed at welcoming people in.

"I think a 4-foot fence is more inviting," Maney said. "We don't want to look like we are keeping people out."

Chairman Gene Field said he was thrilled about the potential to expand the signature look to Bruce B. Downs as part of the widening project.

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