Although I never considered Pebble Creek to be its own suburb — to me, New Tampa is a Tampa suburb; Pebble Creek is a subdivision within that suburb (more on this below) — semantics aside, this community of 1,300 or so single- and multifamily residential units has been in the news quite a bit lately.

First, owner Bill Place and his Ace Golf’s attempt to rezone the shuttered Pebble Creek golf course into 251 homes was voted down 5-2 by the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) on July 17.

Some were surprised that Commission Chair and District 2 Commissioner Ken Hagan, who has long been considered to be pro-development, was the commissioner who proposed turning down the rezoning. 

Hagan said that although there was some duplication of resident feedback received, he and the six other commissioners received more than 1,300 emails and letters about the proposed rezoning, “and more than 80% of those were telling us to not allow it. Candidly, I do not recall another rezoning request that generated so much feedback. We’ve got like three binders full of resident emails and correspondence.”

Even though some of the residents who filled the commission chamber on July 17 and another 60+ in an overflow room supported the rezoning — because proposed developer GL Homes would clean up what can only be called the blighted former golf course and help increase the value of the existing homes — and also spoke at the July 17 meeting, Hagan said it was clear that the vast majority of Pebble Creek residents did not support the rezoning plan.

And, while the Save Pebble Creek group, organized and led by long-time Pebble Creek resident Leslie Green, cheered the commissioners’ rejection of the proposed rezoning, Hagan said that Place only has a few options going forward. 

“He can come up with another developer with a different plan that might be more acceptable to the residents,” Comm. Hagan said after the July 17 meeting. “We’ve also discussed the possibility of the county purchasing the golf club to convert it to a county-owned course, but he (Place) would have to come down in price a lot for us to be interested.”

Meanwhile, Green, who is still the defendant in a suit brought by Place and Ace Golf (that hasn’t yet seen a judge’s decision rendered) that she defamed the golf course owner, said that what happens next isn’t her primary concern. “Let’s see what he comes back with,” Green said. “Maybe he’s waiting for new commissioners to be elected (in 2024) who might vote differently.”

Two weeks after the BOCC vote, named Pebble Creek as the second “Best Suburb to Live In” the Tampa area, 3rd “Best for Families” and #9 “Best to Buy a House,” according to’s analysis of reviews and a number of statistics.

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