A request for a rezoning on North Dale Mabry Highway, near the Pasco County line, has prompted a debate by the Pasco County Commission over what is meant by the phrase “mixed-use,” as it pertains to development.
The proposed rezoning would allow 238 multi-family units to replace commercial entitlements that remain on the books. It also would change the name of the development from Dale Mabry Town Center to Arlington Dale Mabry master-planned development.
The site is located on the southeast side of Dale Mabry Highway approximately one-half mile south of the Dale Mabry Highway/U.S. 41 intersection and abutting Hillsborough County to the south.
The existing site has a Target and a bank, but the remaining portion is undeveloped.
The Pasco County Planning Commission and county planners recommended approval of the request.
The proposed project is outside of the temporary multifamily moratorium and the request is consistent with the county’s land development code, according to county planners.
But Commissioners Jack Mariano and Mike Moore questioned the wisdom of swapping out commercial land — which can generate jobs — for more apartments.
Commission Chairwoman Kathryn Starkey said she wants to hear more from staff about how they define a “mixed-use” development.
“I feel like there’s a misunderstanding of mixed use,” she said. “I guess I always think of mixed use as vertically integrated uses.
Attorney Truett Gardner, representing the applicant, told Starkey that the master-planned community would be a mixed-use development because it has a bank, a retail store and would be adding multi-family.
“The existing Target and the bank branch will remain. These are just some entitlements on the north side of the property that have never been utilized. In fact, this site has sat vacant in excess of 15 years, despite the zoning and despite the Target opening in 2008.
“The site has struggled, I will say, to fill that retail,” he said. “Recently, the site has become a nuisance. It’s used for dumping, primarily, and there’s also a lot of tractor trailers that are just stored there, improperly,” Gardner said..
Starkey said: “I want to be fair to all multifamily that is coming to us. I know that we’re making others do things a little differently.
“I’m trying to understand why we’re not asking for vertical mixed uses,” she said.
Starkey also agreed with Moore and Mariano on this point: “We don’t want to be swapping out land that could create jobs for only residential.
Moore made a motion to continue, to give commissioners a chance to talk to their staff.
“I’m happy to talk to my client, talk to staff, talk to any of you about this and happy to take the continuance,” Gardner said.
The board voted unanimously to bring the request back, to a date uncertain.
Published January 05, 2022