The Pasco County Planning Commission has delayed consideration of new flood prevention regulations until July 21, to make sure that details are worked out before it votes on the issue.
The planning board provides recommendations to the Pasco County Commission, which has final jurisdiction on land use and zoning issues.
Before sending the issue to the county board, planning board members said they want to make sure that the changes being recommended do not have unanticipated impacts.
Jonathan Moody, who was sworn in as new planning commissioner on July 7, said he’s been working on the issue, alongside Barbara Wilhite, a private attorney, who often appears before the planning board to represent clients on land use and zoning issues.
Moody, who was named to the planning board as Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano’s appointee, is a civil engineering consultant who specializes in land planning, permitting and drainage design.
He asked the planning board and county staff if the issue could be delayed until the planning board’s July 21 meeting, to try to work out the details before voting.
Esther Oluyemi, an official with the county’s building department, represented the county on the issue. She said she thought it would be possible to address the loose ends by the July 21 meeting
Moody’s request for the delay came after he raised questions on some issues for which there were no immediately available answers.
Moody and Wilhite pointed out that county staff has been responsive, diligent and collaborative in working on the issue.
But more clarity is needed, Moody said.
Wilhite said the goal is “to make sure there is not unintended consequences.”
Changes are needed to the county’s land development code to bring the county’s flood damage prevention regulations in line with the model ordinance approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and to coordinate with Chapter 18, buildings and building regulations of the Pasco County Code, according to Oluyemi.
The county participates in the National Flood Insurance Program and is currently a 6 on the Community Rating System, qualifying county residents for a 20% discount on flood insurance policy rates.
In 2021, the county had 19,015 policies and the discount represented $3.1 million in savings, Oluyemi said.