A project to build upscale townhomes, off Willow Bend Parkway, won the approval of the Pasco County Planning Commission.
The favorable vote for the project is a recommendation. The Pasco County Commission has the final say.
Two residents spoke against the project, largely based on concerns about traffic. There also was concern due to speculation that the developer wanted to build an apartment complex with about 71 units.
Instead, plans call for upscale, two-story townhomes, with attached two-car garages.
The homes would be built in clusters to provide each homeowner with a view of the wetlands area that covers about 5 acres of the property.
Also, because of the wetlands, the number of townhomes likely will be in the range of 58 to 60, with the maximum number pegged at about 68 townhomes.
The minimum sales price of the town homes is expected to be $300,000.
“This site has very limited upland area. Townhomes is the perfect idea,” said Michael Horner, a planning and land use consultant representing the applicant, Dorothy Dahm Bard Trust. “My client has a good product.”
Although not a condition of the rezoning, Horner said the developer would agree to deed restrictions for the homeowners.
Resident Dennis Derbes, who lives near the proposed site, spoke during public comment on behalf of residents in his neighborhood.
They were opposed to a project for apartments, he said, adding he wasn’t sure how they would feel about the townhomes, instead.
But, Derbes noted: “One of our big concerns is traffic density. Willow Bend Parkway is an extension of County Line Road and is in horrific condition at the present time. The road wasn’t designed for the volume of traffic it has.”
Resident Sheryl Bowman lives adjacent to the property site. She also worried about traffic. She submitted letters of objection from other neighbors.
“Right now, it’s real hard for me to come in and out (off Willow Bend) because through traffic is so fast,” she said.
The parkway has a “blind curve” that adds to the road’s lack of safety, Bowman said.
County officials determined that the project would generate fewer than 50 additional vehicle trips per day at morning and evening rush hours.
One condition of the approval requires a wildlife survey to identify plants and animals that might be endangered or threatened.
Issues of concern brought by neighbors could be addressed as the plan goes through further review, Horner said.
“We want to be good neighbors,” he said.
Published August 15, 2018