September 28, 2021, Ft. Lauderdale, FL — Becker, a multi-practice commercial law firm with attorneys, lobbyists, and other professionals at offices throughout the East Coast, announced that it succeeded in defeating a proposed rezoning at 200 South Hoover Boulevard in Tampa.
Becker represented Save Beach Park LLC (“SBP”), an organization with several hundred Beach Park residents and lead an organized opposition to a proposed rezoning at 200 S. Hoover Boulevard.
After months of delays and changes in developer entities, and with claims it may increase the density of the proposed project, the developer Pebb Capital withdrew its rezoning application (REZ-21-43) just before the continued First Reading hearing before City Council on September 23, 2021, in the face of well-researched neighborhood opposition.
SBP submitted expert reports to the City supporting its position that the proposed project was not compliant with the City’s Land Development Code and inconsistent with the City’s Comprehensive Plan. Through these expert reports, along with more than 150 opposition letters and over 500 petition signatures from area residents, SBP was prepared to demonstrate the inadequacy of the developer’s submittals.
SBP, through Becker and its experts, argued that the development, if approved, would fundamentally change the character of the neighborhood by rezoning the 200 S. Hoover Boulevard property to permit a gigantic 392-unit multi-family development. Becker also maintained that the proposed development would overburden the surrounding road network and public school system, and was incompatible with the character, height, density, and massing of the established surrounding neighborhood’s height.
Further, the proposed rezoning would have placed more population in the Coastal High Hazard Area, slowing evacuation times in the event of a storm, and estimated to result in surrounding home value loss of between five and ten million dollars.
The Beach Park neighborhood of Tampa has recognized extraordinary expansion over the past several years: 1,765 apartments have been approved at Westshore and between 259-500+ units have been approved at Bay Center with many more in the pipeline. Coupled with the immense Georgetown development just south of Beach Park, the neighborhood, with only 2-lane roads for ingress and egress, is getting hemmed in by massive development to the north, south, and west.
“This result is due to teamwork, coordinated opposition, and unprecedented galvanization of our neighborhood, coupled with the developer’s refusal to address to the neighborhood’s concerns at all. Of course, there is a need for increased housing due to Tampa’s explosive growth; however, the burden of increased traffic, school overcrowding, and safety as a Coastal High Hazard Area must be a factor in balancing equitably where these projects are approved to be built. This development presented many adverse impacts to our neighborhood, including to our property values, which ultimately compelled the developer to withdraw its rezoning request,” said Scott Jackman, a member of SBP.
SBP’s opposition effort was led by Becker shareholders Michael Boutzoukas and Katie Berkey, AICP. Other key players involved in defeating the proposed rezoning included: Todd Pressman, Pressman & Associates (lobbyist); Susan Swift, AICP (Colliers Engineering & Design); Matt Simmons (Maxwell, Hendry & Simmons, LLC); Drew Roark, PE, CTL (Roark Engineering); Shaun Luttrell, AIA (Luttrell Architecture); and Michael Antinelli, PE, CFM (Brizaga).
Becker, with headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is a multi-practice commercial law firm with attorneys, lobbyists, and other professionals at offices throughout the East Coast. More information is available at beckerlawyers.com.