Town of St. Leo opposes increased density near its border

The Pasco County Planning Commission has recommended approval of changes that would allow increased development on the edge of the Town of St. Leo, despite objections from Town leadership. Planning commissioners unanimously recommended that a change to the county’s comprehensive land use plan be approved, as well as a change to zoning on 175 acres at the southwest corner of State Road 52 and … [Read more...]

Check out Pasco’s history at Fivay.org

If you are curious about Pasco County’s history, perhaps the best way to become familiar with it would be to check out the website, Fivay.org. Jeff Miller, a recently retired high school mathematics teacher, maintains the website and has invested countless hours piecing together Pasco County’s story. Miller has gleaned information from newspaper articles, old deeds, post cards, photographs, … [Read more...]

‘He was our own Indiana Jones’

After 91-year-old Bill Smith was laid to rest on Aug. 11 amid the emotionally riveting melody of bagpipes from quaint Smith Cemetery, a group of Smith’s fans gathered at Lake Jovita to swap stories and remember the rugged Wesley Chapel pioneer. Dr. Christopher Darby Immer, the pioneer’s son, was among those paying homage to Bill’s memory. “He was our own Indiana Jones!” said Immer, … [Read more...]

Stitching together a life’s big moments

Perhaps it was how she was brought up, or maybe it’s just in her genes, but Sherry Lee Steiert never was interested in being a poster child for polio. Never mind that she’d have made a good one. Struck when she was just 7 years old and paralyzed for a time from the waist down, Steiert survived to create a life that was exceptionally normal — a marriage, four lively children, a career or three — … [Read more...]

Tennis pro wants to grow sport in Pasco

Jeanette Marcus wants tennis to flourish in east Pasco County. Marcus, a certified USPTA (United States Professional Tennis Association) instructor, operates the Dade-City based Tennis 4 U/Tennis Para Ti Inc. The 56-year-old Marcus, a bilingual instructor, offers developmental and intermediate lessons for both youth and adults at her two-acre tennis facility, 35949 Bozeman Road in Dade … [Read more...]

Mock election: A welcome alternate reality

Perhaps the most revealing development in this year’s unique — to say no more — choice of presidential candidates is this: Even as we rumble toward the election’s Nov. 8 resolution, everyone from paid pundits to your next-door neighbor keeps replaying the events that brought us to this sad pass, and wondering how, out of 300-odd million American citizens, the finalists are an undisciplined, … [Read more...]

Celebrating St. Leo’s storied past

On the surface, the town of St. Leo easily could be underestimated. After all, the town’s population is just 1,350, and it has a tiny town hall. But this place of rolling hills recently turned 125, and its history was celebrated with a mass at Saint Leo Abbey, followed by a barbecue luncheon and speeches at Saint Leo University, and then, an ice cream social. Abbot Isaac Camacho … [Read more...]

Pasco property values on the rise

Pasco County property values grew by about $1.1 billion in 2015, according to tax estimates released by the Pasco County Property Appraiser’s Office. That’s about 5.2 percent higher than the current tax roll and shows accelerated growth, compared to the previous steady growth of 4 percent, year to year. Much of the increase is being fueled by nearly $685 million in new residential and … [Read more...]

San Antonio takes St. Leo to court over development

San Antonio is taking St. Leo to court — that is, unless St. Leo town officials work out a settlement with its neighbor instead. City officials in San Antonio filed a suit against St. Leo in Pasco County's Sixth Judicial Circuit claiming town officials there violated its comprehensive land use plan and development codes by allowing what San Antonio has called an "industrial style" facility in … [Read more...]

It’s official: Lake Jovita leaves St. Leo

Years of conflict between some homeowners in the Lake Jovita subdivision of eastern Pasco County and the Town of St. Leo ended Monday with the stroke of the governor's pen. Rick Scott signed into law H.B. 1401, which officially de-annexes a portion of Lake Jovita from one of the county's oldest municipalities. The signing took place with no fanfare, and was in fact one of 55 bills that … [Read more...]