Bexley Ranch divided in two

The Land O’ Lakes property will be developed as Bexley North and Bexley South


The Pasco Commission has made it official.

The sprawling Bexley Ranch property, off State Road 54 in Land O’ Lakes, has been split into rezoned tracts known as Bexley North and Bexley South.

Interior roads are being constructed for the development of Bexley South, a Land O’ Lakes community being developed by Newland Communities. (B.C. Manion/Staff Photo)

Interior roads are being constructed for the development of Bexley South, a Land O’ Lakes community being developed by Newland Communities.
(B.C. Manion/Staff Photo)

Commissioners voted April 21 to allow the developer to do away with the original 2006 development agreement in favor of the two redrawn subdivisions.

Bexley South is under ownership and control of Newland Communities that is developing a master-planned community, similar in scale to the company’s Fishhawk Ranch and Westchase communities in Hillsborough County.

The Newland property is about 1,733 acres and includes the acquired properties of Ashley Glen and Suncoast Commercial on the north side of State Road 54, east of the Suncoast Parkway, and on north and south sides of Tower Road.

The Bexley family will retain ownership of Bexley North, which contains about 5,400 acres. The property is on the north and south of Tower Road, extending east to Suncoast and the CSX rail corridor. The planned subdivision is allowed about 11,000 single-family homes, 1,000 apartments and townhomes, about 295,000 square feet of commercial and retail, and about 537,000 square feet of offices.

Meanwhile, development preparation work continues in Bexley South.

“Newland (Communities) which has begun developing the southern portion is very excited to be in Pasco County,” said attorney Andrea Zelman, who represented both Newland and the Bexley family at the April 21 public hearing.

Site preparation and construction on the main entrance into the mixed use, residential and commercial community of Bexley South began last summer.

No buildings have yet been constructed. The community will be built in phases over 20 years.

The project includes construction of elementary, middle and high schools, an 80-acre district park and the option of an 18-hole golf course.

Bexley South’s master plan sharply reduces office space from a one-time high of about 2 million square feet to about 562,000 square feet. However, the county would allow up to 1.8 million square feet of offices, if needed.

In addition Bexley South is approved for 1,200 single-family homes, 520 apartments and townhomes, and more than 94,000 square feet of commercial and retail.

The vision also includes triggers for design and construction of roadway improvements based on housing volume and traffic analyses for both Bexley North and South. Among the developer’s obligations would be phased extensions of Tower Road and Sunlake Boulevard, linkage of Bexley Village Drive from State Road 54 to Mentmore Boulevard, a roundabout at Mentmore and Bexley Village, and construction of the intersection at Tower and Ballantrae Road.

The master plan anticipates neighborhood centers and pedestrian-friendly amenities including common areas, green spaces and trails.

Commissioner Kathryn Starkey made a plea that developers design trails that “meander” and don’t merely follow a roadway, such as Tower Road, in a straight line.

Put it far enough from the curb that it is safe for families, she said.

“When a trail meanders,” Starkey said, “it’s a much better experience.”

Published May 6, 2015

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