INDIAN ROCKS BEACH -- Picture this -- a large supermarket on the east side of Gulf Boulevard occupying two blocks from 25th to 27th Avenue.
That's on the docket for the Indian Rocks Beach City Commission next Tuesday and the commission could undo what the city's board of adjustment has already decreed -- no way.
It's possible that the project could find favor with some members of the commission. If it does, that promises a fight in the city with opposition coming from citizens who do not want this kind of heavy development on the city's main drag.
The area is about an acre and a half and the project -- "Village at Indian Rocks Beach" -- would consist of a four-storey building that would include a Publix market, some retail stores, two parking levels and 23 condo units that would sell for about $500,000.
There are abandoned businesses and a duplex occupying the property now.
A.G. Armstrong Development will be seeking a variance that would allow combined commercial and residential development.
A representative of the developer pointed out in a letter to the city that the economics of current land costs dictate that development "go vertical." That is, that taller structures are necessary.
Although there is some positive reaction to the project in the city manager's office, there is no way under current city law for the project to continue.
The Board of Adjustment reviewed the proposal in January and expressed concern that the parking facility would be used by beachgoers, that there would be traffic congestion in the area and there would be an increase in traffic.
An approval by the city Tuesday would allow the project to proceed with the city reviewing its plans. A final okay would depend on the developer meeting city requirements and another vote by the commission on the final site plan.
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