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Reader Spotlight: 'What Would Residents Approve' at Firmenich Property?

Reader Gary Moos posed this question in an article we did about the Firmenich development proposal.

Last week, a story we ran about a demonstration at the Firmenich property attracted a lot of attention, and the debate raged anew as to what residents would like to see happen to the 34-acre property on State Road 590.

While many of the protesters were there to decry the increase in traffic the development would bring to the area, some were just as quick to denounce the size, density and very existence of the Richman Group's latest proposal.

In the comments section of the piece, reader Gary Moos posed a question that everyone seems to have a different answer to:

So maybe a good question to ask is: what would residents approve?

We pose that same question to you, Harborites: What would you like to see happen to the former citrus center property? Let us know in the comments below.

Safety Harbor Patch is an interactive community site. You can post a comment at the bottom of any story; upload your photos to our Pics & Clips gallery; post an Announcement to share your news, or add an Event to our calendar. Also, Post a blog in our Local Voices section to let everyone know about your group, your expertise or your opinion. We want you to get involved!

Jeffrey Rosenfield January 27, 2013 at 10:53 PM
I see you are doing your research, Russell! I believe the extra traffic would stem from the constant flow in and out of deliveries, salespeople, employees, visitors, etc...all day long. It might not be as bad during the morning and afternoon rush hours as an apartment complex, but it would be more of a constant in and out. That was how I understood the engineer's explanation. Just something to consider. I appreciate your thoroughness!
Russell Norman January 28, 2013 at 01:24 AM
There are constant in and out of all neighborhoods and developments. Again the engineer said it would increase traffic and there would be a LITTLE more delay but at a minimum. What is a minimum. Also there would have to be an east bound turn lane of 255 ft added to SR590 to accomadate the cars turning in to the complex. The widening of 590 just to accomadate the inflow instead of adding another entrance on Mcmullen Booth seems insane. If we can build a bridge over the bay with little environmental inpact why can't we have a bridge over 50 feet of wetlands for the public safety concerns that are raised with this much density. There should be an entrance on McMullen Booth for North bound cars exiting and enter the complex instead of all onto 590.
Gary Moos January 28, 2013 at 03:43 AM
Traffic is only one aspect of the proposed property. As it stands it would raise the percent of rental property from 15% to 20 % that is a substantial rise and that number affects home prices. And unless units are under renal contract before completion of the project it would almost double the unoccupied housing units in the city. If filled at the Safety Harbor average of 2+ people per unit, it could add almost 5 percent to the population in and area almost 5 times as densely populated.
Jeffrey Rosenfield January 28, 2013 at 04:26 AM
Excellent point Russell about the entrance on McMullen Booth. I know that was a sticking point for the previous mayor, and I even asked the spokesperson for the Richman Group, Damon Kolb, if they would consider moving the entrance. He stated the wetlands as the reason why they couldn't, but your suggestion of building a bridge, or some alternative way around, is a valid one.
Dee Dokumaci January 28, 2013 at 07:43 PM
Congratulations Cristine on looking to own a house as for being a renter at Estates of Countryside which by the way the name was changed from Vinings At Countryside, I checked this complex under both names in the apartmentratings.com site & found out the reviews are terrible out of 145 reviews only 37% is favorable also what they told you about the place being full capacity is not true; they are advertising many units on Oodle, CL, Apartment Guide, Pinellas Rentals plus a friend of mine who is looking for a rental told me they showed her several available units, she looked at both 2 BR & 3 BR units so why would they advertise availability in all kinds of rental publications if they are full capacity, sorry they just told you that to raise your rent, best decision you made by wanting to own, good luck :)

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