Commissioners, public want changes to Safety Harbor Apartments - WFLA News Channel 8

Commissioners, public want changes to proposed Safety Harbor Apartments

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It's back to the drawing board for a developer trying to put up an apartment complex that continues to stir controversy in Safety Harbor.

Richman Group of Florida wants to build a mixed complex of apartments and offices off of State Road 590, near McMullen Booth Rd. Developers wanted to build 276 apartments and 25,000 square feet of office space. The apartment buildings, which would vary in height, would be as tall as four stories.

But the majority of residents and city commissioners at a packed city hall Monday night told the developer four stories is too high for a city that only a has a handful that tall.

They want the designers to come to the table with different plans that would stand on the now closed Firmenich property.

"A lot of us residents feel this is the classic David and Goliath," said a Safety Harbor resident. "Let's go back to the drawing board: see if we can find a compromise here to be able to where we aren't putting up 4 stories buildings and cramming 200 some-odd units right there on that corner."

Commissioners voted to "continue" the item, asking the developer to come back to the table with these three changes: no building higher than three stories, a reduction of at least 30 apartment units, and the designs with the "highest architectural standards."

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