Rezoning approved for 320 new homes

Homes by WestBay plans to build up to 320 single-family homes on a large swath of wooded land off Henley Road in Lutz.

The Pasco County Commission approved a rezoning for the project on Aug. 9

The 175-acre site is east of Long Lake Ranch, a master-planned community off State Road 54.

The newly approved residential project includes extending a one-lane, dead-end stretch of Leonard Road, at its intersection with Henley, as a two-lane road into the proposed development.

Homes by WestBay wants to build 320 homes on land off Henley Road. A dead-end section of Leonard Road would be extended into the proposed housing development. (Kathy Steele/Staff Photo)

Homes by WestBay wants to build 320 homes on land off Henley Road. A dead-end section of Leonard Road would be extended into the proposed housing development.
(Kathy Steele/Staff Photo)

During construction, truck traffic is scheduled to cut through Long Lake via Sunlake Boulevard, Long Lake Boulevard and Breynia Drive. Initially, about 120 homes will be built.

Some Long Lake residents expressed concerns about the construction route.

Long Lake resident Bill Cullen said he doesn’t oppose the rezoning, but he provided documents with more 70 signatures calling for an alternate construction route.

“There are a lot of children in this community,” Cullen said.

Residents are frequently out walking to the swimming pool, along trails or to other amenities within Long Lake, he said.

Trucks also would have to maneuver through two roundabouts, another resident said.

By the end of the public hearing on the rezoning, a developer’s representative said Henley and Leonard roads could be added as future truck routes.

Leonard Road residents also voiced objections, based on concerns about traffic from the new subdivision and potential flooding.

Seeking to improve safety, residents have lobbied for years to get sidewalks built along the two-lane winding road, between U.S. 41 and State Road 54.

John Foster presented county commissioners with letters and emails from about 20 Leonard Road residents against the rezoning.

The proposed homes will be built at a higher level than existing homes, Foster said. “We will be the low-lying area in comparison to everywhere else. We don’t want to be flooded out.”

Leonard Road resident Charlie McBride said WestBay representatives had done “as best as they could” on the project. But he added, “I realize there ain’t no way I’m going to stop the traffic coming from Long Lake. There are going to be a lot of traffic problems.”

Developers anticipate providing five entrances for the new subdivision.

The extension of Leonard, a re-alignment of Henley and Leonard, and paving Henley from State Road 54 to Leonard will improve traffic flow, said land use attorney Andrea Zelman.

“Leonard Road, as an east/west road, was always part of (the county’s) highway vision plan,” Zelman said. “It provides some of the connectivity that Pasco is looking for, as well as an alternative route.”

Revised August 22, 2016

Comments

  1. Susan Archer says

    I bought my grandparent’s (Gordon and Ruby Henley) home in 1998. My grandfather built his house sometime in the 1940’s. When he built the house it was in the middle of a citrus grove and it was the only house on Henley Rd. Almost 70 years later, there is a church, a dozen houses, and several mobile homes on Henley Rd. For years we have barely tolerated the dust and mud while bouncing down the dirt road. Personally, having a few more neighbors and traffic is a trade-off I don’t mind to get our road paved. I’m surprised it has taken this long for civilization to come to our little neck of the woods.

  2. Gloria Foster says

    These 320 new homes by Westbay and the new development on Henley is going to bring SO much more traffic to this small neighborhood than many realize. It’s just too bad our County Commissioners would not even listen to the problems many of us have foreseen. Many residents submitted a signed petition in opposition, but no mention was made of that.
    The county’s plans are to use Henley and Leonard to relieve traffic on the 54/41 corridor. They don’t care what changes that will bring to the people living here. I’m so glad Henley is being paved, but in the end, many of us fear we will be so inundated with traffic cutting through as a short cut. That, and the probability these new developments will cause our pre-existing homes to flood is the reason we tried to fight this change.
    The construction trucks will also be using the newly paved Henley as they bring in supplies to build.
    The trucks were originally to use the Lakewood Ranch development roads to bring supplies. Residents came to the meeting to complain about that. They were granted their wishes. Now Henley will get the construction traffic.
    Needless to say, quite a few of us did not vote for those Commissioners to be reelected this time.
    Money and greed speaks louder than the wishes of the people!

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