Pasco County is setting the stage for Project Arthur, a proposed Central Pasco development that is expected to become a major job generator, as well as a place where people will live, play and learn.
The proposed development would be located on land south of State Road 52, east of the Suncoast Parkway and west of the CSX rail line. It would cover 6,951 acres — and would include a 24-million-square-foot corporate park, housing and other supportive uses.
Under the approved land use, the project also could include up to 11,495 residences and other supportive uses.
The Pasco County Commission approved amendments to the county’s land use and highway vision map — necessary changes before the commissioners can consider proposed zoning on the land.
The zoning request for the Master Planned Unit Development, is expected to be brought forward in coming weeks, according to county staff and Clarke Hobby, the attorney representing the applicants.
The applicants are Angeline Corp., Bexley James P. Rev Trust & Bexley Mabel H. Rev Trust, and Bexley J P Tr & J.M. Family Partnership, and Len-Angeline LLC, according to county documents.
The board’s approval of the request had the effect of increasing the potential nonresidential development on the overall acreage by 19 million square feet.
Ernest D. Monaco, assistant planning and development administrator, presented the request at the board’s March 12 meeting.
Monaco said that the county’s planning and development staff and the county’s Planning Commission both found the request to be consistent with the county’s comprehensive plan.
The property has been used for cattle ranching and a pine plantation for decades, according to the county’s report. It has both uplands and wetlands areas. It contains oaks and pine trees, and forested and non-forested wetlands.
It has open water lakes, which are mostly remnants from prior borrow pit operations, the report says.
The project site’s proximity to the CSX railroad line provides an opportunity for commuter rail, in the event that the rail line is converted to a commuter rail line, the report notes.
Two of the county’s vision roads also go through the project: Ridge Road and Sunlake Boulevard. Also, the county collector connections to Lester Dairy and Roaches Run are shown on the corresponding rezoning request, the report adds.
Monaco also noted that the 2008 ULI (Urban Land Institute) Report specifically recommends economic development centers for the Central Market Area that are near strategic hubs.
“For that reason, the ULI Report specifically calls for the location of these uses along the Suncoast Parkway and State Road 52, at major intersections, such as the Project Arthur’s southeast corner of State Road 52 and the Suncoast Parkway,” the report says.
It also notes that ULI urges the county to promote higher density and more compact development to preserve open space, enhance ecological areas and promote a strong mix of uses within large, master-planned communities.
The proposed project calls for a corporate business park, which will provide large-scale employment opportunities, as well as supportive services, such as residential communities, parks, schools and other uses to be connected through walking and bike trails, the report adds.
No one from the public spoke for or against the request.
The details of the plan will be ironed out at the zoning stage.
Hobby, appearing on behalf of the applicants, told board members: “We have a lot of work left to do, but this is a big first step.”
Commissioner Kathryn Starkey put the applicants on notice that she’ll want to see how the project handles trails. “There are some pretty important trails coming through that area,” she said.
County Attorney Jeffrey Steinsnyder reminded Starkey: “You have that opportunity to have that discussion at the MPUD (Master Planned Unit Development zoning) stage.
Commissioners approved the change on a 4-0 vote, with Commissioner Mike Wells absent.
Published March 20, 2019