Pasco County has adopted new regulations relating to motor vehicle dealerships.
The new ordinance addresses concerns expressed by the Pasco County Commission about the overstocking of cars on-site, posing potential safety hazards and making it difficult for consumers to access sites.
The new regulations address general standards for sites approved or established before Jan. 25, 2005, when the vehicle dealership ordinance was established. In that section, the changes are mostly cleanup language, resulting from a change in the Type H Buffer. That buffer used to be a 75-foot buffer and now it is anywhere between 20 feet and 40 feet. It was changed on May 3.
The ordinance also provides additional design standards for sites approved after Aug. 25, 2022.
- Employee and customer parking: There are four methods to choose from.
- Vehicle inventory and vehicle storage: This section specifies that surface-level inventory and display, combined with ground floor area of buildings/structures are not to exceed 50% of the developable acreage.
- Vehicle inventory and vehicle storage: These cannot occupy required parking spaces.
- Vehicle inventory and vehicle storage: These cannot encroach into right of way, landscape buffer, wetland upland buffer, or drainage pond. They also must be delineated on site plans.
- There also is allowance of triple tandem rows, or quadruple, under certain instances.
- There also are requirements for pedestrian connectivity.
- There also is flexibility in landscaping standards, allowing substitutions when required trees have potential for causing damage to vehicles.
Pasco County Commission Chairwoman Kathryn Starkey advocated the updated rules — noting that some dealerships had far too many vehicles on their lots, making it difficult for people to even access the businesses.
She and county staff had several meetings with vehicle dealerships to address the issues.
“I want to thank staff and all our dealerships that were involved in this. We had great representation,” Starkey said, noting representatives from both new and used car dealerships were involved in the discussions.
“I think this will go a long way to help to clean up some of that blight and to make sure we have a fair process going forward,” Starkey added.
The board approved the updated rules on a 5-0 vote, at its Aug. 24 meeting.
Published September 14, 2022