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.
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