Rocky Point dredging project stopped by Tampa City Council

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People packed into the Tampa City Council meeting Thursday night, many to voice concerns over a developer’s plans to dredge and fill-in three acres of open water in north Rocky Point.

After getting the green light from the city’s planning department, the developers wanted City Council to amend the comprehensive plan to build houses on a lagoon.

Right next to Scarborough Park is a nearly nine-acre basin. An out-of-state development group wants to fill-in part of the water to create three acres of additional land, then plans to build 16 waterfront homes.

People who live in the area gave council members an earful during Thursday’s three-hour meeting, urging them to not to approve the project.

“It is dangerous precedent indeed to fill-in our bay -- a bay we cherish and love, a bay that brings beauty and visitors,” one woman said.

“I was appalled when I heard that somebody deemed this waterway an uninhabitable waterway. I live on this lagoon and every day. I see the manatee, the dolphin, the wildlife around it. It’s ample and it is thriving,” another woman said.

Dredge and fill projects haven’t happened in the Bay Area since the 1970s. The practice was stopped because it was destroying the environment.

Some council members agreed going forward with this project would set a bad example. Others raised concerns about not being able to limit the number of units constructed on the property.

After the lengthy discussion, council members unanimously put a stop to the project and denied the application, saying it doesn’t line up with policies and the comprehensive plan.