Blue Triton Brands Inc., formerly known as Nestle Waters North America Inc., has secured permission to vacate a portion of platted right of way, to help accommodate the company’s planned plant expansion in Zephyrhills.
After hearing from county staff and a representative for Blue Triton Brands, the county board voted on Jan. 10 to unanimously approve the request to vacate a portion of Leaf Lane, which is a platted right of way, and to vacate portions of Camphorwood Lane and Breezewood Drive.
Joann Ravida, a real property professional in the county’s Real Property & Planning Division, told the county board: “The purpose of the vacation (of the property) is to allow for the area to be utilized for parking and water retention, to serve the expansion of the petitioner’s existing plant.
“There were no objections to this petition and the team recommends approval,” she added.
Linda Pearson, a planner representing Blue Triton Brands, told the county that approval of the request was needed to accommodate the company’s plant expansion plans.
Pearson told the county board: “We’re not affecting anything or any access used currently, now or in the future, by the residents to the south that are currently in Pasco County.
“They have no access to it. There’s nothing there. Our company has owned that company for some time. It’s vacant,” she said.
Pearson also noted that the three homes that are affected are a considerable distance away.
The planned plant expansion will add 30 new positions and convert 45 of the existing 56 positions into full-time roles, Pearson said.
Salaries will generally range from about $44,000 to $64,000, in connection with the expansion, she added.
“Blue Triton Brands purchased the Nestle Corporation in April of 2021. They purchased all of the U.S. and Canadian plants, approximately there are 27 of them. And, they’re making their biggest capital investment this year, in this plant,” Pearson said.
Pearson told the county board that Blue Triton Brands has a pending application to annex into the City of Zephyrhills. She showed county board members a map indicating the only portion of its property that’s currently outside the city limits.
“We are being very careful in anything we do, to minimize the impact to the surrounding community,” Pearson said.
The landscaping and buffering provided will exceed code requirements, she added.
Commissioner Ron Oakley asked if the City of Zephyrhills could vacate the rights of way in question, if the land is being annexed.
County Attorney Jeffrey Steinsnyder said an argument could be made along those lines, but the original plat likely was recorded in the county records, and since the applicant had already gone through the county’s process, the board might as well take action.
Pearson agreed, noting the plan was recorded in the county and her company believes its best to have the county board take action, to ensure everything is legal.
The City of Zephyrhills is scheduled to consider the annexation, a comprehensive plan amendment and a zoning request on Jan. 23, Pearson said. Another neighborhood meeting is planned before then, she added.
Although no one spoke against the request during the board’s afternoon public hearing, Marlene Mann, a neighbor to the water plant, had voiced opposition during the morning public comment portion of the board’s meeting.
After Mann voiced her objections, Steinsnyder informed the board that her remarks were related to an item that would be heard by the board in the afternoon.
Mann signed up to speak during the afternoon session, but was unable to wait until the board took it up.
In the morning, she told board members: “I just want to go on record to say that I oppose the petition to vacate a portion of three platted rights of way by Blue Triton.
“I know it won’t do any good, but I speak on behalf of the neighborhood, that used to be a nice quiet neighborhood of 16 homes, dead-end street.
“We’re in the county, but right next to us used to be Nestle’s Zephyrhills Bottled Water, now owned by Blue Triton.
“Our neighborhood was there before Blue Triton or Zephyrhills Bottled Water was ever built,” she said.
Nestle bought eight of the 16 homes and bulldozed them, she said.
She objected to Blue Triton Brand’s planned expansion.
“They’re going get rid of a lot of big oaks, over 200 trees. They’re going to bring this retention pond within 75 feet of our backyards,” she said.
“None of the neighbors want this. We don’t want our peaceful neighborhood destroyed, with mosquitoes close by, all of the trees, big oaks, disappearing, plus the big noise factor of the trucks, which are 24 hours a day, which’ll be right close to our backyards and the big lights.
“I know there’s probably not much hope because big city and big companies always win, but thank you for hearing me out,” Mann said.
Published January 18, 2023
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