Pasco County must update its comprehensive land use plan to comply with state regulations relating to development in the county’s coastal high-hazard area.
In keeping with that requirement, the Pasco County Commission considered proposed changes at its Jan. 18 meeting.
As county planner Amy Tull was outlining proposed changes, Chief Assistant County Attorney David Goldstein asked her: “Is there a reason that you’re not fixing the issue with this policy that deals with whether density increases in the coastal high-hazard area need to be MPUDs (master-planned unit development) or not?”
Goldstein was referring to a current requirement that says that MPUD rezonings are required within that area. But, according to the attorney, based on an interpretation by Nectarios Pittos, director of planning and development, requiring MPUDs was not the intention of language within the comprehensive plan.
So, Goldstein said, the county has an opportunity to fix that, as it is making the current changes.
“If that’s the planning position, I’m not sure why you’re not making that perfectly clear in the policy,” Goldstein said.
Tull responded: “We can do that.”
Planning Commission Chairman Charles Grey asked for clarification: “From a practical point of view, how does that affect people who want to build, develop, whatever? Is it going to create more – another layer of bureaucracy for them?”
Planning Commissioner Jon Moody responded: “It would remove a layer.”
Goldstein agreed with Moody.
Removing the MPUD requirement would make it easier, not harder.
Pittos told the planning board: “The way the provision had been understood in the past was that the comprehensive plan was not actually calling for a rezoning to MPUD, but for the use of the MPUD requirements of the land development code.”
In other words, Pittos continued: “You could do a Euclidean zoning, but ultimately when the site plans were to come in, they would have to meet the various requirements, as conditions of approval, on the site plan.”
Planning board members indicated they favor the removal of the MPUD requirement and approved a motion to have the county’s legal staff work with the planning staff to take that recommendation to the Pasco County Commission. The county board has final jurisdiction over land use and zoning issues.
Published February 07, 2024