The Pasco County Planning Commission has recommended approval of a zoning change that would clear the way for a hospital, hotel, retail, offices and multifamily development at the northeast corner of McKendree and Overpass roads.
Attorney Clarke Hobby, representing the applicants, said the request calls for a 365,000-square-foot specialty hospital, noting there’s only one other hospital like it in Central Florida. Hospital plans call for a helipad, but Hobby said it will not be heavily used.
The requested change also would allow:
- 1,275 multifamily units, which can include apartments, townhomes and other multi-family arrangements
- 155,000 square feet of retail
- 250,000 square feet of medical office
- 150,000 square feet of office
- 250 hotel rooms
The proposed development is within Connected City.
In addition to recommending approval of the rezoning request, the planning board also recommended approval of a proposed development agreement that requires the developer to design, permit and construct certain roadway improvements, including floodplain compensation, wetland mitigation, drainage and retention associated with a segment of McKendree/Boyette Road. In exchange, the developer will receive transportation development fee credits.
Hobby provided background on the 176-acre site, which is in the Connected City area.
“Pasco County was directed by the state of Florida to create this Connected City area in 2015,” Hobby said.
“The county subsequently adopted policies in 2017 that created this series of regulations,” he said. “The state felt it was important and wanted the county to shorten the approval process to bring this kind of a product to the market.”
Connected City has a financial plan and a master plan, Hobby said.
That plan includes 26,000 multifamily units, which includes apartments, townhouses and duplexes, he said.
The idea is to allow employees to live close to work, Hobby added.
Area residents, however, raised concerns about whether the proposed development will be compatible with nearby properties.
The planning board recommended approval of the master-planned unit development zoning request, but changed a condition relating to the height of a buffer wall for the closest neighbor.
The conditions now require an 8-foot wall, rather than a 6-foot wall.
Planning board members also responded to concerns by neighbors about the possible degradation of area lakes.
To address that issue, the board added a condition that prohibits motorized boats being operated on the lakes by occupants of the MPUD.
Richard Tonello, an alternate on the planning board representing Pasco County Schools, said the district has evaluated the additional students that would be generated by the development. He said the district will be opening the Kirkland K-8 magnet school in the fall, and also has capacity at Kirkland Ranch Academy of Innovation, another magnet school.
He also noted that the district owns sites, or is pursuing acquisition for others, to meet future demands.
Planning board member Jamie Girardi said he understands that residents in the area have been living in a rural setting, and have been for years.
But Girardi noted: “This is now part of Connected City. It is not going to be rural.”
The requests for the MPUD zoning and the development agreement now go to the Pasco County Commission, which has final jurisdiction on zoning and land use issues.
Published October 11, 2023