The Pasco County Planning Commission has recommended a change to the county’s long-range land use map that would permit a greater intensification of development on a tract in a central area of Pasco County.
It also is recommending changes to policies affecting future development in the Villages of Pasadena Hills, in eastern Pasco County.
The recommendations will be considered by the Pasco County Commission, which has final authority over county land use and zoning matters.
The proposed change in Central Pasco involves increasing the maximum density from three dwellings per acre up to six dwellings per acre, on 77.21 acres on the south side of Tower Road, south of Bexley Village Drive.
The new land use designation would allow a maximum of 325 dwelling units, in a combination of single-family detached homes and townhouses.
The acreage is surrounded by a planned development called Bexley South, to the north; the Suncoast Meadows, to the south; Ballantrae, to the east; and Sapphire Village, to the west.
County planners recommended approval of the request, determining that the proposed plan amendment “is an appropriate location for the change in land use.”
Barbara Wilhite, an attorney representing the applicant, said plans call for 325 single-family dwellings.
No multifamily is proposed, she said, noting the specific plan will come back in a separate request for a rezoning to create a master-planned unit development.
On the issue involving the eastern Pasco development, planning commissioners agreed with a recommendation from the Villages of Pasadena Hills Property Owners Group to reduce the required wetlands buffer from 100 feet to 25 feet.
In supporting that recommendation, planning commissioners rejected a recommendation by the VOPH policy committee that would have changed the requirement to match the requirement in the rest of the county.
The Planning Commission also rejected a recommendation by the parks, recreation and natural resources department that would have required a more extensive buffer. The county’s planning staff supported the parks and recreation department’s recommendation, but planning commissioners supported the property owners’ recommendation.
Pat Gassaway, representing Heidt Design, told planning commissioners the goal is to take a look at the rules and update them to today’s market.
The current rules, he said, “require preservation of upland habitat without bound,” Gassaway said.
The update also includes myriad of other changes in the VOPH plan, with the goal of the changes to create a more level playing field between regulations required in this planning area and others, and to make the Villages of Pasadena Hills “more market friendly and more competitive,” Gassaway said.
The county has undergone significant changes since the Villages of Pasadena Hills was adopted in 2008, Gassaway said.
Published December 02, 2020
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