A request to rezone 50.15 acres for a 108 single-family homes in Land O’ Lakes has been delayed until Nov. 18, to continue to explore a way to prevent cut-through traffic from future area development.
The request, by Darrell A. and Karen J. Renner, calls for rezoning agricultural land into a master-planned unit development (MPUD) on the south side of Bexley Road, about a mile west of the intersection of U.S. 41 and Wisteria Loop.
The Pasco County Planning Commission first heard the request on Sept. 30, but delayed it until Nov. 4 to give the applicant time to pursue the possibility of building a county “vision road,” which, in effect, would keep future area traffic from spilling into the existing community along Wisteria Loop.
County planners initially had recommended approval of the application, if the developer brought Wisteria Loop up to county standards.
During the Nov. 4 meeting, however, area resident Ray Gadd called for approval of the application to be contingent on the construction of the vision road. Another area resident, Chris Nocco, urged the planning board to take a long-term look and act now to protect existing communities. Gadd is deputy superintendent of Pasco County Schools and Nocco is the county’s sheriff. Both made a point to say they were acting as private citizens, not in their official capacity.
Shelly Johnson, an attorney representing the applicants, told the planning board at the Nov. 4 meeting that her client would be willing to construct the vision road or improve the existing road, but not both.
However, her client subsequently found out that building the vision road would cost approximately $2.7 million and improving the existing road would cost $914,000. They also learned there’s wetlands involved, so it could take up two years to obtain the necessary permits to build the road.
Planning Commission Chairman Charles Grey said it’s not the planning board’s job to ensure that a project is financially feasible, but board colleagues Jaime Girardi and Don Anderson said they weren’t comfortable forcing the applicant to shoulder the additional costs.
One possibility would be to reconfigure three existing skewed intersections into a traditional T-intersection, a representative for the applicant said.
The planning board continued the request until Nov. 18 at 1:30 p.m., in New Port Richey, at the Pasco County government center. The delay is meant to allow the applicants to bring back a potential solution and to give area residents another opportunity to weigh in at a public hearing.
Published November 10, 2021