It’s not official yet, but the Pasco County Commission said it wants to end the retail sale of rabbits, except for agricultural uses.
The board voted on June 21 to end the retail sale of rabbits at flea markets, open-air venues, parking lots and other public places. It also voted to bring back a future amendment to its ordinance that would ban the retail sale of rabbits, except for agricultural uses.
The action followed testimony by advocates for the ban, who have been seeking the change for months. Those asking for the ban told commissioners that rabbit purchases frequently are impulse buys, especially around Easter.
Many buyers are unaware of the care that rabbits require, which leads to a large percentage of rabbits being abandoned, they said.
The creatures are not well-equipped to survive in the wild, so the abandonment typically leads to death, the advocates have told commissioners in the past and reiterated their concerns at the recent meeting.
The commission was not able to call for an outright ban during its meeting last week because the public notice did not include that provision, but the issue will be placed on a future agenda, according to a motion by Commissioner Mike Moore, which the board approved.
On another matter, the county board approved the acquisition of the Florida Governmental Utility Authority Lindrick Utility System for $24 million, using American Rescue Plan Act grant funds.
Lindrick customers will transition to county rates, representing a 41.75% reduction in the average water/sewer bill.
The acquisition area includes 3.24 square miles, and represents 3,161 water accounts and 2,661 sewer accounts, according to materials in the board’s agenda packet.
In other action, the board:
- Approved changes in the comprehensive plan involving the types of uses allowed in the Gateway Hub area, at the northwest corner of State Road 52 and Interstate 75. A rezoning request to designate the area as a master-planned unit development (MPUD) is being processed.
- Approved a change to the county’s land use plan on 188 acres on State Road 52, west of Bellamy Brothers Boulevard. A rezoning petition to create a MPUD with a maximum of 380 single-family attached and detached dwellings also was approved on the site. The property is across State Road 52 from the Central Pasco Employment Village, and across Bellamy Brothers Boulevard from the Gateway Hub and the Hillcrest Preserve MPUD. It also abuts the Fort King MPUD.
- Approved a rezoning request by MMLJ Holdings LLC and Christina H. Dilorenzo for a rezoning to allow Hillcrest MPUD, a development on 740 acres at the northeast quadrant of State Road 52 and Bellamy Brothers Boulevard. It is expected to include up to 1,800 single-family detached units, 600 single-family townhouses, 450,000 square feet of retail and 200,000 square feet of light industrial/office.
- Approved a county-initiated rezoning on a 0.92-acre site on the north and side of Chapman Street, east of Pine Products Road and west of Bower Road. The applicant is One Lacoochee Center Inc./WREC Property-EDC. The rezoning was from a high density residential category a light industrial park district.
- Approved updates to the county’s land development code relating to the sign regulations. The changes were needed to allow digital signs in certain districts of the county and to comply with a United States Supreme Court decision, Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona.
- Authorized the distribution of more than $23.3 million in school impact fees to the Pasco County School Board. The fees are associated with new construction and are collected by the county. The money is used to provide additional schools to accommodate growth. Revenues collected have been higher than anticipated because of the pace of building, as well as the timing of the rate increase in 2020. The amount being distributed is based on an estimate of the total through the end of fiscal year 2022.
- Approved a budget amendment for slightly more than $2.1 million for expenses associated with additional staff, maintenance and system operations for fiscal year 2022.
- Adopted a resolution recognizing former Speaker of the House Will Weatherford, for the many contributions he made to Pasco County through his public service. Projects he championed as a legislator included securing the funding for two lanes of the extension of State Road, from Meadow Pointe Boulevard to U.S. 301; construction for the Porter campus of Pasco-Hernando State College and for the College’s Instructional Performing Arts Center, according to the resolution. It also notes that Weatherford’s commitment to public service in the greater Tampa Bay area continues as he currently is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the University of South Florida and was co-chairman of the host committee for Super Bowl LV in Tampa in 2021.
Published July 06, 2022
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