The Pasco County Commission has approved a rezoning that will allow a new 122-home subdivision off Old Pasco Road, after delaying the request last month.
Commissioners approved the request from Life Church, LLC, with conditions, including a requirement for a 1.2-acre neighborhood park and that a tree be planted in front of every home in the development. Commissioners disagreed with a recommendation by the Pasco County Planning Commission that would have required fencing near retention ponds in the development.
Instead, that fencing would only be necessary if the ponds fail to meet sloping requirements and thus trigger the land development code’s requirement for fencing.
The county board’s decision came after a delay last month based on concerns regarding the timeline for construction of the widening of Old Pasco Road.
Commissioners also wanted to know about trail and sidewalk plans along that portion of the Old Pasco Road widening project.
Tammy Snyder, of the county’s planning and development department, told commissioners that design work for the portion of Old Pasco Road near the subdivision is set to be done this summer with construction of the road widening expected by the end of 2023.
Snyder said that the road widening also includes a 6-foot-wide sidewalk on one side of the road, a 12-foot-wide multi-use path on the other side of the road and a bike lane on each side of the road.
Commissioner Mike Moore said that timing of the road widening seems to nearly coincide with the development of the subdivision.
The applicant previously had requested a reduction in the size of the subdivision’s neighborhood park, which planners had recommended.
But Commissioner Jack Mariano objected to the reduction during the last meeting and the applicant dropped that request.
The tree requirement was added at the board’s June 8 meeting, at the urging of Commissioner Kathryn Starkey.
“For me to approve this project, it’s going to require a tree in front of every house. Not in the back. Not a queen palm,” she said.
Starkey said will continue to seek the tree condition on every master planned development until the county fixes its landscape ordinance.
“Right now, we can put the tree in the backyard,” she said.
She wants the county’s ordinance to require a shade tree in front of every house in every new master plan zoning approved by the board.
One woman spoke, on behalf of her son, during the public hearing portion of the meeting.
Her son lives behind the development site.
The woman told commissioners that the road is packed with school buses, dump trucks and cars every day. She also showed video she took near the subject rezoning.
But information provided to the commissioners about the timing of the widening of that portion of Old Pasco Road seemed to alleviate their concerns about adding another subdivision along the road.
Commissioners voted 5-0 to grant the request.
Published June 16, 2021