A property owner’s request for a variance to front-yard setback requirements has attracted opposition from nearby neighbors.
Sachin K. Shah appeared before the Pasco County Planning Commission on Nov. 19, seeking a variance to the front yard setback requirements for the property on the east side of Raintree Road, about 1,350 south of Rainbow Lane, in Lutz.
The normal setback requirement is 50 feet, but Shah is requesting that be reduced to 30 feet.
Shah told planning commissioners the smaller setback is needed to reduce potential impacts on the wetlands behind the house.
But, several neighbors appeared before the planning commission raising objections to the request.
They said the property that Shah wants to build on has been known to be an unbuildable lot for decades because of its proximity to wetlands and the flood zone.
They said building on the lot will worsen the area’s flooding problems.
The lot is surrounded by single-family detached homes, in the Meadowbrook Estates and Sierra Pines subdivisions.
One neighbor told planning commissioners that he had told Shah that the lot was not a buildable lot, but that warning did not sway Shah.
Shah told planning commissioners that a drainage solution will need to be engineered, but he said the setback variance will reduce the impacts to the wetlands.
Will Poon, a senior engineer for Pasco County, said the property poses “a lot of physical challenges,” in terms of handling runoff, and the placement of a septic tank.
“Right now, what I see, is you’re very limited in uplands,” Poon said.
Brad Tippin, a development review manager for the county, agreed with Poon’s assessment: “This is absolutely going to be a challenging site to develop.”
Planning commissioners, however, said their role is to rule on the variance request, not whether a house should be built on the lot, and they voted to grant the variance.
Shah now will be required to meet the regulatory requirements of various agencies, in order to proceed with his plans.
Published December 02, 2020