City News Blog


This is the official blog of the City of Lakeland, Florida. Check back frequently to stay up to date with all that going on in our beautiful city!

At the Planning and Zoning Board meeting held April 19, 2011 The Board took the following action:

A conditional use to allow, Peace River Center for Personal Development, to use a portion of an existing building located at 715 North Lake Avenue to be used as a 20-bed residential behavioral healthcare treatment and Baker Act evaluation facility, was approved for submission to the City Commission.

A Conditional use to allow, Florida Presbyterian Homes, to have temporary employee parking for approximately 40 vehicles on vacant property located at 320 Cannon Street was approved for submission to the City Commission, conditional to the erection of a privacy fence and the eventual return to open space.

I-3 (Heavy Industrial) zoning and a conditional use to allow, Mid Florida Environmental LLC, to build an air separation facility, used to make liquid Nitrogen, Oxygen and Argon on property located west of North Combee Road approximately 1,800 feet north of Saddle Creek Road was referred to staff for final recommendation. An additional public hearing is required at the next meeting due to a change to the site location, caused by the discovery of a Bald Eagle’s nest.

A Change in zoning from PUD (Planned Unit Development) to O-1 (Small Lot Office) on property located at 3704 Kathleen Road was approved for submission to the City Commission.

City I (Industrial) future land use and PUD (Planned Unit Development) zoning on two parcels of property located south of Drane Field Road and east of Hamilton Road to allow, Lakeland Electric, to construct a solar power generation facility were referred to staff for final recommendation.

PUD (Planned Unit Development) zoning to allow, North Lakeland Properties Inc., RG Lakeland Properties LLC, and RG Lakeland Tiki LLC. to build a mixed use regional shopping center (Gateway Commons) on approximately 50.7 acres located northwest of Interstate-4, east of US Highway 98 North and north of Crevasse Street was approved for submission to the City Commission.

A major modification of PUD (Planned Unit Development) zoning to reallocate industrial, office and commercial uses and allow, Doherty Holdings Second, LLC. two automobile dealerships on property located northwest of Interstate 4, east of Kathleen Road, and south of Griffin Road was approved for submission to the City Commission.

Change in future land use from Conservation (C) to Public and Institutional (PI) to allow, Lakeland Electric, to build an electric substation on 9 acres located at the northwest corner of North Road 33 and Huron Way was approved for submission to the City Commission.

Proposed changes to Article 36 of the Land Development Regulations (Sign Regulation) to allow projecting signs within the Downtown Commercial (C-6) and Munn Park Historic (C-7) zoning districts and to establish standards for such signs were approved for submission to the City Commission.

To view videos-on-demand of any of these agenda items please visit

At the City Commission meeting held on Tuesday April 18th :

The Police Department made a presentation on hiring, recruitment and training of police officers.

The Hollis family made a contribution of $10,000 to be used towards Lake Mirror Theater renovations.

Proclamations were presented for : Administrative Professionals Week, Arbor Day and Occupational Nursing Week.

Randy Mathews and Cory Petcoff were appointed to the Dixieland Community Redevelopment Area Board.

As part of the Consent Agenda the Commission approved a change order to task authorization with CivilSurv Design for preliminary design - Crevasse - Lakeland Park Connection Project  funded by transportation impact fees in the Transportation Fund. The initial fee approved for this task authorization was $245,408.00. This change order will add an additional $35,015.00.

Joe Mawhinney, LDDA Chairman made a presentation concerning the establishment of the Munn Park Perpetual Care Fund.

The Commission approved a conditional use to allow a private school in an existing building located at 1129 N. Missouri Avenue - Head of the Class Learning Center. A conditional use was also granted for a concrete aggregate, yard waste and construction debris recycling facility on 19 acres located South of the Intersection of Fairbanks Street and Bella Vista Street and West of the CSX Railroad.

The Commission approved a conditional use to allow an internally illuminated ground sign on the  property located at 4450 Harden Boulevard, but retained the prohibition of the electronic messaging sign requested by St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Text and Large Scale amendments to the Comprehensive Plan along with Institutional Land use and a planned unit development (PUD) zoning to allow for Salvation Army ancillary facilities on 49.21 acres located west of Kathleen Road, South of Sleepy Hill Road were discussed and scheduled for public hearings at the next City Commission meeting.

A voluntary annexation of 113.8 acres located North of Medulla Road, South of Drane Field Road, East of Hamilton Road and West of the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport had First Reading.

In final action, Lake Crago Drive was approved as the name of a road intersecting Lakeland Hills Blvd. between Lake Parker and Lake Crago.

To view the full discussion of any of these agenda items please visit the videos on demand section of the LGN page.

Ingraham Avenue Multimodal Enhancement Project

From East Main Street to East Memorial Boulevard

The Lakeland Community Redevelopment Agency (LCRA) is funding improvements to Ingraham Avenue between East Main Street and East Memorial Boulevard in order to beautify this corridor and improve conditions for bicyclists, pedestrians and transit patrons. The changes include milling and resurfacing, and installation of raised landscape medians at strategic locations.

Project Information


The Lakeland Community Redevelopment Agency will conduct a public information meeting on Thursday, April 28, 2011 from 6:00 – 7:30 PM at First Baptist Church at the Mall in the NOW Center. First Baptist Church at the Mall is located at 1010 East Memorial Boulevard in Lakeland, Florida. The Lakeland Community Redevelopment Agency is hosting this meeting to inform the public about the project scope and schedule, and provide the public and adjacent property owners with an opportunity to ask questions concerning the planned improvements. The meeting is an open-house format with no formal presentation, allowing you to view the displays at your convenience. Materials on display will include illustrations of the proposed improvements the proposed schedule. City staff will be available to answer questions and address concerns.

We invite and encourage you to attend this meeting. If you have any questions about this meeting or the project or may require special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act contact Tamara Sakagawa at 863-834-6011, at least seven days before the meeting.

Display boards of this project will also be made available beginning April 15, 2011 in the lobby of Lakeland City Hall located at 228 South Massachusetts Avenue in Lakeland, Florida. PLANNED IMPROVEMENTS AND SCHEDULE

Planning studies have identified Ingraham Avenue as a collector street that could benefit from enhancements that will improve mobility for neighborhood residents and connectivity to future bicycle/pedestrian facilities such as the Fort Fraser Trail. It should be noted that Ingraham Avenue connects to Parker Street, a component of the Lake-to-Lake Bikeway network. Sidewalk improvements related to this project have already been completed.

Remaining improvements include milling and resurfacing of the roadways as well as the construction of landscape medians to guide turning movements on Ingraham Avenue and beautify the project corridor. Construction to begin May 2, 2011 and will continue for approximately one month.

Questions about design should be directed to Charles Barmby, Community Development at 863-834-6011. For questions during construction, please contact Matt Glenn, Supervisor of Construction at 863-834-3300

In early 2009, the City of Lakeland and Tampa Electric Company (TECO) entered into an agreement whereby the City of Lakeland will supply TECO with water from our Wetland Treatment System.  TECO will use this water to augment the cooling reservoir at their Polk Power Station located in southwest Polk County.   This agreement was a fundamental consideration in Lakeland’s securing of a twenty year Water Use Permit from the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

Since entering into that agreement, the City has supplied TECO and their consultant AECOM with twenty years’ worth of water quality and water quantity data from our Wetland system.  TECO and AECOM used that data to design a treatment system for the water being supplied by Lakeland.

In order to test the effectiveness of the design, AECOM built a temporary, small scale, treatment system at the City’s Wetland site in December of 2010.  They anticipate completing the pilot treatment system evaluation by the end of April.

The pilot treatment system is composed of three elements.  First, the raw water from the Wetland Cell 7 is pumped into a clarifier.  Using Ferric Chloride as a coagulant, the clarifier removes the majority of the larger solids from the water.  Following the clarifier, the water is then pumped through a multimedia sand filtration system which increases clarity to nearly 100%.    Finally, the water is directed through a reverse osmosis system which removes any remaining minute contaminates.  After the daily test results have been recorded, the clean water is then pumped back into the Wetland system.  The solids removed are stored on site and transported to the Glendale Wastewater treatment facility for disposal.

AECOM has been treating approximately 70,000 gallons per day with this system. The results of the tests have been outstanding and will provide valuable information regarding specifications for the treatment facility that will be built by TECO at their power plant.

According to the Lakeland-TECO agreement, TECO will initially have access to 5.2 million gallons of our water per day with additional quantities possible in future years. 

This represents a significant beneficial reuse of our water while alleviating potential treatment and discharge costs for the City of Lakeland. It insures available drinking water supplies for the citizen’s of Lakeland in the future and it allows TECO to meet their cooling water needs while drastically reducing their impact on ground water supplies.