BARTOW – Last week, Bartow City Commissioners unanimously approved changing a section of land to “High-Density Residential” zoning that could accommodate more than 140 new apartments.

Plans have been underway for a few years to redevelop the Bear Creek apartments, on U.S. 17 behind Walmart, and the owners of two properties have come together to transfer this property for the redevelopment effort.

The areas include 2.9 acres which the developer owns and 4.2 acres the city owns, Bartow Planning Director Bob Weigers told commissioners at Monday’s public hearing. The city may sell the property to the developer.

“We have worked with Bear Creek to build this multi-family site,” he said.

Weigers said if this area is changed to the high-density zoning, it would increase the number of units able to be built from “48 to no more than 143.” Weigers added that 143 units would be the maximum number allowed, but may not represent the number contained in the final development plan.

He also said it is not known yet what type of apartments would go there, as developers have not gotten that far.

“They could be townhouses or multi-level -- the developer doesn’t know,” Weigers said.

No one from the public spoke at the hearing.

In a roll call vote, each commissioner voted in favor of changing the zoning to High-Density Residential, knowing it complies with Future Land Use Map and consistent with the city’s Comp Plan. A second public hearing is scheduled at the next Bartow City Commission meeting on Monday, July 1.

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