The Pasco County Commission is looking at changing the county’s employment center land use requirements in an effort to encourage more jobs.
County Commissioner Jack Mariano raised the issue during the board’s July 14 meeting, noting that he’s aware of a potential development near the intersection of State Road 54/Suncoast Parkway that could yield more jobs, if the site wasn’t required to have a multifamily component.
“I don’t want to restrict anybody, with EC (an employment center designation), not to be able to create more jobs,” Mariano said. “I want to get every single job that I can.”
Commission Chairman Mike Moore chimed in: “I agree. Do we want apartments or 500 more jobs? We want the jobs. It’s not hard to figure out, right?”
Moore said that’s especially true along the State Road 54/56 corridor, which already has a substantial amount of housing available.
Commissioner Mike Wells said he also supports Mariano’s position.
Nectarios Pittos, the county’s planning and development director, reminded commissioners that it has been the county’s longstanding policy to locate housing close to employment.
He also noted that the county’s plan promotes creating density to support transit plans.
Sites designated as employment centers that are 20 acres or less are not required to include multi-family development, Pittos added.
He also cautioned commissioners that such a change could contribute to traffic congestion.
Commissioner Kathryn Starkey said the board needs to hear the pros and cons of making such a change.
“We’re making some knee-jerk reactions,” Starkey said. “We only have two east-west roads. We need to be careful.”
Commissioners directed county staff to prepare a board workshop for further discussion on the issue.
In other action, the board:
- Approved a resolution to notify the public of the county’s proposed solid waste rate increase of $7 per equivalent residential unit (single-family) for fiscal year 2021. The resolution also includes a proposed increase in per-ton tipping fees of $6.39 per ton for fiscal year 2021. A public hearing on the proposed increases has been set for Sept. 8 at 9 a.m., in the board chambers of the Historic Pasco County Courthouse, at 37917 Meridian Ave., in Dade City.
- Approved an amendment to an agreement with Good Samaritan Health Clinic of Pasco Inc., to extend the time to complete the installation of a generator for the pharmacy and medical flooring for the clinic. The original completion date was scheduled for Sept. 30, 2020. However, due to COVID-19, an extension was necessary. The new completion deadline is Sept. 30, 2021.
- Promoted Brian Hoben to the position of community services director. Hoben had been serving as the public services administrator and as interim community services director.
Published July 22, 2020