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Developers want to build Bayshore Heights
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Bruce Danielson of Belleair Capital Group presents the plan for Bayshore Heights at a community meeting on May 27.
TARPON SPRINGS – Last year, developer D.R. Horton was met with animosity when he went before the Tarpon Springs City Commission with a plan to build 51 houses in the Bayshore Heights subdivision along Bayshore Drive, a plan that would have added nine lots into the area that was zoned for 42 homes.

With a 3-2 vote, the commission denied Horton’s proposal to change the property’s zoning code (Commissioners Townsend Tarapani, David Banther and Jeff Larsen voted against allowing more homes while Mayor David Archie and then-Vice Mayor Susan Slattery voted in favor), and residents left pleased that traffic, flooding and environmental concerns were no longer an issue.

Now, nearly 11 months to the day after Horton’s plans were shot down, Belleair Capital Group is coming in with a new proposition.

According to the developers, the group hopes to develop 65 lots ranging from 7,500 square feet to 16,000 square feet, allowing for larger yards and more separation between houses. Each house also will have a minimum of a two-car garage and at least 1,600 square feet of living space (which does not include the square footage taken up by the garage), and the developers estimate homes will sell from the high $300,000s to the low $400,000s. Current plans call for 20 feet between each house and a 25-foot setback from the street and the back of the lot. Belleair Capital Group also plans to use one builder, likely a national company, to build all of the houses in Bayshore Heights.

“We’re trying to put together a plan to try to make it feel like a community,” said Bruce Danielson of Belleair Capital Group at a public meeting on May 27.

The meeting, attended by about 30 people at the Walton Community Center, was held before Belleair representatives had met with numerous city officials or begun to form a development contract, a point that Danielson and Kelly Prior, another partner on the project, made sure to reinforce.

“We know the mistakes (previous developer D.R. Horton) made,” Prior said. “We’re not going to do the same thing.”

The developers have plans for a sewage and drainage system that will be finalized in collaboration with the city, as well as a large pond on the eastern section on the development that will maintain the environmental wetland presence. Danielson also assured residents that all utilities and roadways would be brought up to current city standards, including curbs, gutters and sidewalks.

A major concern among residents at the May meeting was the increased traffic along Bayshore Drive, but Danielson said that reports and studies showed that the road could handle the estimated 120 additional cars that would be traveling it each day in and out of the neighborhood.

Prior estimated that they will begin construction on the lots in November or December if the development agreement passes the City Commission. Construction on the homes would then likely begin in the spring.
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