The Pasco County Commission has approved a new subdivision in Land O’ Lakes, after the developer agreed to build a “vision” road to help handle area traffic.
The construction of that road has been a sticking point for months, and now the applicant has agreed to do the road — which is referred to as a vision road because at this point, it’s just a line on the map and an alignment must be determined.
As part of the conditions for approval, the county staff agreed that the developer could receive up to 66 certificates of occupancy before having to make roadway improvements.
But no additional certificates of occupancy will be granted before those improvements are done.
The rezoning request, filed by Darrell A. and Karen J. Renner, calls for a 108 single-family subdivision in Land O’ Lakes.
The rezoning, which commissioners approved on a 3-2 vote, will change the zoning on 50.5 acres of agricultural land to allow 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.
Commissioners Christina Fitzpatrick and Mike Moore voted against the request. Fitzpatrick wanted to delay the vote to provide more time for her to meet with interested citizens and the applicant to try to resolve concerns about the future alignment of the vision road.
Moore backed Fitzpatrick’s request for a continuance.
But the developer asked for a vote to be taken up or down, noting that the rezoning process, with its continuances, has been both lengthy and costly.
Attorney Shelley Johnson said her clients agreed with the conditions, as revised.
Ray Gadd, Chris Nocco and Jeremy Crouch had voiced concerns about allowing construction to occur, without the vision road.
At the Jan. 25 meeting, Gadd said: “There is an actual alignment on the vision road map and I would like that alignment to be followed.
“Do we have some reasonable expectation that the actual existing vision road alignment that’s on the vision map today will be followed?” Gadd asked.
Couch told commissioners he also wants to see the road follow the alignment on the map.
“Wisteria Loop is unique. There are a lot of homes that are estate homes on the lake. There’s a lot of really nice, mature trees, along the road, it’s very quaint.
“The alignment goes right through a pasture. It’s going to be easy for them to build. They’re not going to have conflicts with citizens. It’s going to be real smooth if they go through that pasture and that will kind of keep the character of Wisteria intact.
“I support it, as long as they follow that alignment,” Crouch said.
Nocco urged commissioners: “Make sure that road stays the way it is and it doesn’t get realigned because of permitting.
“It’s not just about this project that this community is concerned about. It’s about all of the further projects that are going on.
“If we’re talking about smart growth, we have to realize that this is one of the only roads that will cross over the path of train tracks. CSX is not easy to get roads through, over their lines. So, we better be smart and do it right this time, because if we’re not (smart), this is going to be a disaster for this Land O’ Lakes area for numerous years to come,” Nocco said.
Gadd, who is deputy superintendent of Pasco County Schools, and Nocco, who is the county’s sheriff, both made it clear that they were speaking as private residents, not in their official capacity.
County Administrator Dan Biles said the alignment shown on the vision map is conceptual in nature.
The actual alignment can’t be determined until field work is done to consider the wetland impacts, the curvature of the road, the design speed of the road and other factors, he said.
A county transportation planner said there will be bonds to ensure that the road improvements are made.
Ultimately, Chairwoman Kathryn Starkey joined her colleagues Jack Mariano and Ron Oakley to support the rezoning, with Moore and Fitzpatrick dissenting.
Published February 09, 2022