The state of Florida this week agreed to purchase the residential development rights on a 25-acre parcel adjacent to MacDill Air Force Base in South Tampa even though the landowner will retain the right to build a hotel or motel on the parcel’s north end.
The $1.3 million purchase will prevent residential development in MacDill’s clear zone and accident potential zone, but the state was only able to reach agreement to purchase the development rights for a hotel or motel on 11 acres in the airfield’s clear zone, reported the Tampa Bay Times.
Still, it’s the best deal the state could get, said Bruce Grant, executive director of the Florida Defense Support Task Force.
“It is not optimum and it doesn’t take care of the entire problem, but it does take care of part of the problem,” Grant said.
A hotel or motel built on the parcel’s north end would be in the accident potential zone, making it incompatible with MacDill’s mission, Col. Patrick Miller, commander of the 6th Mission Support Group, told Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) and the Florida Cabinet before their Tuesday vote.
State officials expressed frustration over the inability to fully protect the installation from development.
“I have reticence that we were unable to negotiate away a future hotel at the end of a runway,” said Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.
Separately, the Cabinet voted to spend $1.5 million to buy more than 600 acres near Whiting Field in Panama City, according to the story.