An apartment development of up to 350 units is being proposed at the southwest corner of State Road 52 and Old Pasco Road.
The 23.1-acre site currently is occupied by pastureland, some residences and some outbuildings, Denise Hernandez, the county’s zoning administrator, said at the planning board’s July 22 meeting.
“The Mango Hills master-planned unit development district abuts the subject property on the west and south,” Hernandez said. “It received approval for a maximum of 415 single-family detached and single-family attached townhome units.”
Properties to the north and the northeast, adjacent to State Road 52, are zoned for general commercial, light industrial and retail, office and residential land uses, Hernandez added.
“Apartments are a logical transition, step-down from general commercial, industrial uses — to residential uses,” the zoning administrator said.
She also noted that the applicant has requested a variance from the county’s land development code to reduce the number of parking spaces required, from 2.25 spaces per unit to 1.9 spaces per unit, which Hernandez said, is consistent with similar project approvals.
Hernandez also noted: “The Orange Belt Trail is planned to be constructed by the county within the property abutting the subject property to the north, and once the Orange Belt Trail is constructed, the subject property shall construct a bike/pedestrian access to the Orange Belt Trail, as noted in the MPUD (master-planned unit development) master plan.”
County staff has found the request to be consistent with the county’s land development code and comprehensive plan, and recommends approval, subject to conditions, Hernandez told the planning board.
Attorney Barbara Wilhite, who represented the applicant, said the maximum allowable density, under the county’s comprehensive plan, would be 24 units per acre.
“We’re looking at a 15 units per acre, maximum,” she said.
The attorney also noted that the site is in an area where “there is quite a bit of employment-generating uses.”
Nancy Russell, who lives on Jenkins Court, raised concerns about proposed traffic from the development.
Russell lives in the Tampa Bay Golf & Country Club development, which she said has 1,564 homes and about 3,300 residents.
“The community is parallel to this potential build of 350 multifamily apartments,” she said.
She said Old Pasco Road is already congested, and she mentioned safety issues that could arise from additional traffic.
Wilhite said the proposed apartments would have access to a portion of Old Pasco Road that has four lanes.
Additionally, Wilhite said, the proposed apartments are close to the State Road 52/Interstate 75 interchange, and nearby properties are planned for industrial development.
The attorney said there are no other apartments in the area.
“I hope you will support this project. It’s exactly what we need for the area,” Wilhite told the planning board.
“It’s exciting to see the employment starting to take off, so now we have the demand for housing and different types of housing, in this area, following the plans for this county,” Wilhite said.
The planning board voted unanimously, with Roberto Saez absent, to recommend approval of the request.
The issue now goes to the Pasco County Commission, which has final jurisdiction over zoning and land use matters.
Published August 04, 2021