Saturday, June 3, 2023

The Lakeland business center’s growth plan has sparked protests in the neighborhood

The lakeland business center's growth plan has sparked protests in the neighborhood

Neighbors who live near the business center St. Croik in Leyland are protesting plans to expand the center, saying it would dramatically change the purpose of the property.

The business center, completed in 2000, is currently home to Premium Moving & Storage, Metro Dentalcare and Surf and Turf Direct.

Owner Jackie Aldridge has applied for an amended conditional use permit for the property to allow for up to three additional tenants and to allow for internal division of the building’s storage space. He also wants to add a new portable loading dock on the west side of the existing warehouse space and a night parking lot for trucks for rent in the enclosure.

Lakeland City Council is expected to vote on the amended CUP application at its meeting on Tuesday night.

Plot of 2.7 acres, located at 44 St. Croik Trail S., is a zoned retail store, and Aldridge’s plans do not require deviations or redevelopment of the land, said the employee of the city of Lakeland, Michelle Elsner.

Residents living near the business center in the Elmwood neighborhood have expressed a number of concerns about the plans since they were first considered by the Lakeland City Council last fall. Among them: increased traffic of large trucks, noise and pollution of diesel engines and increased work on the construction site.

One of the loudest critics was Julie Tron, the wife of a member of the Lakeland City Council, Mother Tron; the couple lives directly behind the business center of St. Croik.

“It’s just not compatible with the neighborhood, especially with such close homeowners,” said Julie Thron. “There is no buffer. He would return to our yard immediately. All our houses are on higher levels, and the main floor is above the 6-foot fence, so we can see clearly into the property, and the headlights shine in our windows at night. ”

One of the biggest concerns is the potential exhaust from moving trucks, she said.

“They say they will turn off the trucks and will not let them stand still, but with a diesel truck in the winter, do you really think that will happen?” I do not think like that.”

The former tenant of the building, Anchors Aveigh Boat Warehouse, recently moved to Afton; Julie Tron said that the job of storing boats was a good neighbor because she had no activity from late autumn to early spring because the boats are stored for the winter.

Premium Moving & Storage, on the other hand, will work all year round, and they have publicly stated that they want to grow the business, she said.

Aldridge, who lives in Naples, Florida, said she has no plans to expand the footprint of the business center or the scope of use.

“But we have to adjust to attract new tenants and meet the needs of our current tenants,” she said. “Costs continue to rise. This year alone, I had a property tax increase of 26 percent and I have to stay financially viable if we want the business center to remain open. ”

Jim Gasperini, Aldridge’s lawyer, said he expected Lakeland City Council to approve her application. “This is not a substantial change in use at all,” he said. “What they are proposing is allowed by the existing city zoning regulations.”

He said Aldridge had already made “significant concessions to all neighbors and neighboring properties”, including a large buffer zone on the west side of the property.

“She has proven to be a good neighbor, and she will continue to do so,” he said. “In the past 20 years, there have been no complaints that I am aware of, and she does not expect that there will be any in the future.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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