Runners concerned about proposal to reroute Upper Tampa Bay Trail

- There's a runner's oasis in the middle of Citrus Park, and it's called the Upper Tampa Bay Trail. But there are a few changes coming that has runners like Debbie Voiles worried. 

"They're going to take out the foliage, so we lose our buffer. We’ll hear the traffic and we see the traffic," Voiles said.

A developer is looking to rezone a parcel of land the trail sits on to build a 300-unit apartment complex. That could also mean pushing the trail closer to Gunn Highway, a plan that doesn’t sit well for those always on the move.

“It was a given that we were going to get some development along here," Voiles said. "But I don’t think any of us, that use this trail, had any clue that there was a proposal to move the trail.”

Andres Valentin, who attended a meeting between developers and the public Thursday night, says this is the perfect case for the phrase, "If it's not broken, don't fix it."

Valentin says there were unanswered questions on several issues.

“Traffic, noise, and the environment -- that they’re going to go ahead and destroy," he said. "That’s what it boils down to.”

Developers will move forward if county commissioners approve re-alignment of the trail, a proposal Voiles can't comprehend.

"Why would anyone want to make this so you take out the beauty and now you're looking at an expressway?" Voiles asked.

Another meeting to discuss rezoning will be held on September 17. 

LINK: For more information on the proposal, you can visit http://hillsboroughcounty.org/en/businesses/permits-and-records/permits/plans-and-permit-information-pgm-store

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