The Pasco County Commission has approved a rezoning to allow a townhome development on the north side of Willow Bend Parkway, about a half-mile east of Land O’ Lakes Boulevard, in Lutz.
The rezoning allows up to 70 units.
Technically, the new zoning classification would allow apartments, said Denise B. Hernandez, zoning administrator/special projects manager for Pasco County.
However, that won’t occur in this case because, Hernandez said, “the applicant is proposing single-family attached homes that will be on fee-simple lots,” and “the applicant has agreed to record a deed restriction on the property for that to be the only principal permitted use on the property.”
The zoning change will not take effect until that deed restriction is recorded, the zoning administrator said.
Two area residents spoke against the request.
They cited concerns about adding traffic to Willow Bend Parkway, which they said already has so much traffic that it’s hard to get onto or off of the road.
They also objected to allowing townhomes to be built in an area where the predominant development pattern is single-family homes on single lots.
Commissioner Mike Moore said he’d heard from opponents to the project, but said they thought that apartments were being proposed on the site. He said he would have opposed apartments.
Michael Horner, a planning and land use consultant, represented the applicant, Dorothy Dahm Bard Trust, and the contract purchaser, Town Homes of Willow Bend LLC.
“My client wants to build high-end, single-family attached townhomes. These are three-bedroom, two-bath, two-story, 2,000 square feet, high-end furnishing,” Horner told commissioners.
The site has fragmented wetlands, providing the ideal opportunity to have clustered single-family homes with individual views of the wetlands, Horner said. The townhomes are expected to start at $300,000.
“They want views. They want the double-car garage. They want the tray ceilings. They want the quartz countertops,” Horner told commissioners. “They do not want to cut grass, maintain lots, on the weekend.”
Moore noted that the current zoning allows 70 homes to be built, and the rezoning will allow 70 townhomes. “It’s a wash,” he said.
Commissioner Kathryn Starkey, agreed, noting the rezoning is not “a big change.”
Starkey made a motion for approval, which carried unanimously.
Published September 5, 2018