Odessa neighbors file land claim against Hillsborough County

Neighbors say the development goes against established land use rules for their area.

ODESSA, Florida — Hillsborough County has been the subject of a lawsuit by neighbors in Odessa who claim a new housing estate being built in the Keystone area violates land use protections.

Keystone is a quiet neighborhood with winding two-lane roads, mossy trees, and space. At least…for now it is.

“There’s going to be a lot of extra traffic, a lot of extra noise, more kids in schools that are already overcrowded,” said Mike Atherton, president of the Keystone Civic Association.

That’s what neighbors expect if developer Taylor Morrison is allowed to go ahead with his plan to build nearly 200 homes on around 200 acres off Patterson Road. Neighbors say it goes against established land use rules for their area.

“Our community plan since 2001 has been one house per five acres,” Atherton said.

But this community plan did not stop the preparation of the land for construction.

Taylor Morrison released a statement in response to the lawsuit stating that their permits were already approved to be work at the site.

“Taylor Morrison is thrilled to have the opportunity to develop a community in the Keystone area and we are working to ensure it will complement the natural features and beauty of the surrounding properties,” the company said. “We received a stop work order from Hillsborough County on April 26, 2022, in relation to this project. Prior to the start of work on the site, the County Department of Natural Resources had already reviewed and approved plans permit, however, the final building permit Although work was briefly halted, no trees were felled outside the permit boundaries and the site plan meets all zoning requirements.

The developer believes there is confusion regarding the zoning of the property, which he says is not part of the 2001 overlay area.

“The community plans are fully zoning compliant and it is built on the basis of the zoning that applies specifically to the location of this site,” he added. “We regret the timing error on the site works and are working with the appropriate county authorities to ensure we address the matter in a timely manner. We have since received our full site permit from the county and have resumed operations. of development with county approval. Taylor Morrison will continue to coordinate closely with the county under their leadership and appreciates their diligence in this matter.”

Neighbors gathered Thursday night to vote on the best way forward, even taking donations to help with the legal battle they will face as a community after 20 people filed a lawsuit against the development.

“We will take all the help we can get in support of this,” Atherton said. “For the developer, you know, we would like to at least be able to work with you and bring it more to our community plan that’s being put in place.”

10 Tampa Bay contacted Hillsborough County in which they replied, “The county has a policy of not commenting on pending litigation.”

At Thursday’s meeting, members of the civic association told us they had voted to dedicate $15,000 to the fight in court.