After months of back-and-forth between two adjoining landowners, the Pasco County Commission has approved a master-planned unit development for a corporate business park on State Road 52, in Land O’ Lakes.
The project, known as Eagle II, is entitled for up to 2 million square feet of corporate business park, targeted businesses and light industrial uses, as well as 150,000 square feet of commercial/office uses on 321 acres.
The site is on the south side of State Road 52 about a half-mile west of Bellamy Brothers Boulevard.
The property is within the Central Pasco Employment Village, which was designated years ago by the county board to create a coordinated vision among a group of landowners.
As adopted, the plan envisions a mixed-use employment village on more than 2,400 acres, located along the south side of State Road 52, roughly between the Collier Parkway Extension and Bellamy Brothers Boulevard.
The employment village is expected to contain commercial, residential and industrial uses.
A system had been developed to allow landowners to swap entitlements among themselves, under the county’s supervision.
But it became clear in this case that those swaps don’t always go smoothly.
During a Pasco County Planning Commission hearing on this request, the planning board voted 3-1 to recommend denial of the request, after it appeared that the applicant in this case, George Southworth, of 3KS Family LLLP, could not reach an agreement with Andy Joe Scaglione, of D&D Ranch, who owns the adjacent property.
During the county board’s Aug. 24 public hearing, Cynthia Spidell, a professional planner with the law firm of Stearns, Weaver, Miller, testified that the issues had been worked out between her client and his neighbor.
“The road alignment was changed, which the neighbor is fine with,” Spidell said.
Commissioner Mike Moore said: “the road alignment needed to get worked out.”
Scaglione said he no longer opposes the proposed connection between Eagle II and his D&D Ranch.
“It’s a shame this wasn’t done at the planning commission, that it had to come to this point,” Scaglione said.
Moore agreed a quicker resolution would have been nice.
Meanwhile, another aspect of the application involves a proposed alignment for a portion of the proposed Orange Belt Trail.
Spidell said her client has agreed to provide 30 feet of the right of way for free, with the county having the option to buy an additional 30 feet of right of way.
The cost of the additional right of way would be based on the average of costs in the area, she said.
Commission Chairwoman Kathryn Starkey said Tampa Bay Water has control of a portion of the right of way and the county is seeking an agreement to use it for the trail.
Sam Beneck, a project manager with the county’s engineering services, has been working to secure an easement from Tampa Bay Water.
He said it appears that Tampa Bay Water is amenable to granting the easement, along with some reasonable conditions.
If that happens, the trail will be going through a beautiful area, Starkey said. But if it doesn’t, the county can purchase the additional land from Southworth.
Moore said he’d prefer to avoid that option.
“You’re going to pay a pretty penny for that,” Moore said, noting the current land values are inflated.
The price tag would be around $465,000 based on the 5.7 acreages needed at a current average cost $81,122, Moore said.
“I’d be concerned paying that high of price for a trail,” the commissioner said.
Starkey is confident the ongoing negotiations with Tampa Bay Water will be successful and the county won’t need to purchase Southworth’s land.
Published September 07, 2022