West Cardinal Lane intersection 2021

This aerial view of the West Cardinal Street intersection with the Suncoast Parkway looks from north to south. The contractor informed state officials they are prepared to open the portion between U.S. 98 and Cardinal Street in October.

County commissioners Tuesday voted 5-0 to adopt a new mixed-use development plan for Cardinal Street with one major change that should benefit property owners with smaller lots.

The Cardinal Street Management Area (CSMA) plan will now allow for a mixed-use development with 8- and 18-acre minimum buildable lots. A previous plan required a minimum of 10- and 20-acre lots.

Commissioners said they heard from property owners whose lots near the Suncoast Parkway interchange were smaller than 10 acres.

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County Commission Chairman Scott Carnahan said the revision will “accommodate landowners who have been there for years.”

In January, county commissioners voted to send a proposal for state review on plans to hopefully turn Cardinal into a mini town center, where residents could walk to nearby stores, eat at restaurants or use a nature trail.

The state approved the plan and, on Tuesday, commissioners unanimously voted to adopt it.

Commissioner Jeff Kinnard said the revision to 8- and 18-acre minimum buildable lots means that if somebody is sitting on property with 8 or 9 acres, a developer can come in and buy that lot without having to acquire a second piece of property to reach the former 10-acre threshold.

“All of a sudden (that) property is more valuable,” Kinnard said.

Kinnard said he voted to reduce the acreage requirements after being assured by County Growth Management Director Michael Sherman that “we can still get the quality development we want without negatively impacting the value of their property.

“Those folks have made an investment down there and some have had (those lots) for many, many years," Kinnard said.

Kinnard said he believes sewer will eventually be installed along Cardinal making those parcels even more valuable. 

Contact Chronicle reporter Michael D. Bates at 352-563-3205 or mbates@chronicleonline.com. To see more of his stories, visit  tinyurl.com/y6kb23vv.