Two Rivers, a proposed new community off State Road 56, is approaching its final regulatory hurdle before work can begin to bring the plans on paper to life.
The Pasco County Planning Commission and the county’s planners have recommended approval of a rezoning for the sizable community.
Two Rivers is envisioned as a place that features a mixture of housing types, work opportunities, shopping, recreation and schools, according to county documents and testimony during previous public hearings involving the development.
The proposal, according to county records, calls for creating the new master-planned community on the southern edge of Pasco County. Two Rivers would tie into a community that’s under the same ownership, just south of the Pasco-Hillsborough line.
Two Rivers’ master plan, county documents show, includes:
- 6,400 residential dwelling units, including single-family, multifamily and age-restricted homes
- 1,335,000 square feet of office/target industry
- 1,355,000 of industrial
- 630,000 square feet of retail uses
- 246 acres of conservation area
The project has been in planning stages — off and on — for more than 10 years, and there have been a number of ownership changes.
The Pasco County Commission signaled support for Two Rivers, when it voted to transmit a proposed comprehensive plan amendment request to state officials for review.
The proposed rezoning for the master-planned community is a companion to that previously review comprehensive plan land use request.
The land use change and rezoning both are needed before Two Rivers can proceed with development.
At the Planning Commission’s Aug. 5 meeting, attorney Clarke Hobby represented Hickory Hills Land Company, the applicant for the Two Rivers master plan rezoning.
The planning board also heard from a handful of residents who raised concerns about potential flooding, increased traffic, possible loss in property value, and the likely noise that would arise from large machinery working on the proposed development.
Hobby told the planning board: “I think we’re all generally aware of Two Rivers and it’s a project that the county really has been planning for, and wants.”
Two Rivers is the largest of three parcels that the county worked with when it created a surcharge to build two additional lanes for the State Road 56 extension, Hobby said. Initially, just a two-lane extension was planned, but the county took out a loan from the Florida Department of Transportation’s infrastructure bank.
There’s $14.8 million in mobility fee surcharges from Two Rivers alone, to help pay back the county’s loan from the FDOT infrastructure bank, Hobby said.
The attorney addressed the concerns raised about potential flooding.
“As you all know, there are SWFMD (Southwest Florida Water Management District) rules and county rules to make sure we don’t flood our neighbors.
“The legal test that we must meet is that we can’t increase the rate of discharge, or the volume of discharge, from the pre-development condition, which we’re in now,” Hobby added.
“We have some of the smartest engineers in the (Tampa) Bay area working on this site, and I’m confident we won’t flood anybody,” he said.
Hobby also noted that the master plan calls for the creation of an 80-acre district park and a 77-acre school site.
While one neighbor expressed concerns about a potential decrease in property values, Hobby predicted just the opposite will occur.
He expects Two Rivers to “be a big benefit to this area.
“I actually believe it will raise property values considerably,” Hobby said.
The rezoning request now goes to the Pasco County Commission, which has final jurisdiction on land use and zoning issues.
Published August 11, 2021