Lot on West Bay - Email sent to Largo Commission
I have a concern with the 14 palm trees, bushes, and grass planted on the now vacant lot on West Bay drive. I was at your West Bay redevelopment planning meeting. I thought the "PLAN" was for a five to eight story building to be in the spot. So my concern is how much did all of these trees, bushes, grass and labor cost me and my family in taxes? What are you planning to do with the trees, bushes and grass when the plan becomes active? How do you recoup the labor cost, even if the trees are being moved to another location? I would appreciate an e-mail reply to my taxpayer questions?
- Stacy Beam
Thank you for your inquiry on the vacant lots that the city owns along West Bay Drive. As you may know, there were two commercial buildings on the front portion of the property, adjacent to O'Houstons, that were recently demolished. As you note in your email, the City has assembled these parcels for future redevelopment. However, with the economic conditions of today, the timing of new development for this parcel is unknown.
During the discussion on the demolition of the buildings due to their age and condition, concerns were expressed by the City Commission and the community as to how the vacant lots would impact downtown. Therefore, the lots were seeded and planted with trees to beautify the corridor and keep vehicles from accessing the grassy area. The trees were purchased using money from the city's tree fund. These trees will be moved to other city locations after the property has been sold to a developer. In addition to the trees, fencing will be strategically placed along the property to secure the open space, prevent it being used for parking, and to make it safer for anyone using the open space. I hope you would agree that having a presentable, temporary open space along this major corridor in Largo is more acceptable to reflect a positive community image rather than a lot that appears abandoned and/or neglected. When the real estate market improves and latest plans for the downtown revitalization have been finalized, the city will proceed with plans for redevelopment of the parcels.
Thank you again for contacting the city. If you have any questions or need any further information, please feel free to contact me or the city staff person who oversees this downtown redevelopment district, Teresa Brydon, Economic Development Manager at 586-7360.
- Carol Stricklin, AICP, Community Development Director, City of Largo
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