A rezoning has been approved to allow a professional office to be built on a 1.67-acre site at the southwest corner of State Road 54 and Meadowbrook Drive, in Lutz.
The Pasco County Commission approved the request by Kiddie Campus University Inc., at the board’s Aug. 10 meeting.
The application drew opposition from some area residents, but it was muted compared to the strenuous objections that accompanied a previous request to change the county’s land use map to allow the potential for a gas station and convenience store at the same location.
That proposal fell by the wayside when a divided county board refused to change the land use, which would have cleared the way for consideration of the commercial rezoning.
Instead, Kiddie Campus revised its pending rezoning application — asking for an office use, instead.
“We amended our application to PO1 (Professional Office 1), it’s the lowest intensity non-residential use in your code,” said Attorney Barbara Wilhite, representing the applicant.
“This is the solution,” Wilhite said.
Given the site’s location, at a signalized intersection on State Road 54, its future use will not be residential, Wilhite said.
The PO1 office district is designed to be compatible with residentially developed districts, she added.
That designation allows only office uses. It does not permit commercial uses, such as a hair salon, a nail salon or other personal services, Wilhite said.
She said the applicant didn’t want to bring anything forward that was retail-oriented, so its application calls for strictly office uses.
coming forward with the PO1,” the attorney added.
Additionally, the applicant has agreed to a deed restriction that limits the building height to two stories, Wilhite added.
“I could see the residents’ concerns,” the attorney said.
The voluntary deed restriction is the only thing limiting the building’s height, said Denise Hernandez, the county’s zoning administrator. That’s because the site is located within the county’s urban service area, she explained.
The application had received recommendations for approval from both the Pasco County Planning Commission and the county’s planners.
Some area residents, who had spoken against the plan before said they are confident that developer will work with the community.
But others — far fewer than before — persisted in their opposition, characterizing the proposed development as an intrusion into a residential area and raising concerns about a potential for future flooding issues.
Wilhite addressed the flooding concerns: “We can’t make the flooding worse. There’s plenty of regulations on the books regarding flooding.”
Published August 18, 2021
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