At the Kiwanis Club of Greater Brandon's meeting April 25, Hillsborough County Commissioner Al Higginbotham fielded questions about a wide range of community issues, including what will become of a 43.5-acre pasture on Bloomingdale Avenue next to the Bloomingdale Regional Library.
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"Back in 2003 that property was zoned . . . for a big-box store," Higginbotham said. "Somehow a rumor started that a Walmart was going in there. I’ve seen noting in writing, I’ve had no briefings from staff, that a Walmart’s going there. But that doesn’t mean a Walmart is not."
Adding that he "can only deal with the facts that I have," Higginbotham said that before any building takes place there would be "concurrency and road improvements to complement the site."
"There’s not even a building plan that's been permitted, it's still discussion and, in great part, still rumor," he said. "But until I can get facts to look at I can’t make that decision."
Higginbotham sought to put the issue in perspective
"Ten years ago that site was zoned," he said. "Now we’re faced with what we call in-ill projects."
"When I first came to office everybody was saying, ‘Don’t expand out, don’t go out [further],’ " he added. "Now we’ve got infill projects popping up and they’re raising concerns, ‘Do we have the infrastructure, is this what we want?' "
Those are the types of discussions, Higginbotham said, that "we're going to continue to have."