Pasco County Approves Multifamily and Commercial Developments

In an effort to shape the future landscape of Pasco County, the Board of County Commissioners approved two comprehensive plan amendments, facilitating the development of nearly 750 multifamily units and over 300,000 square feet of commercial retail space. During the meeting on February 20th, 2024, the commissioners unanimously passed ordinances p43 and p44, which involved changing land use designations to allow for planned developments on two separate properties, totaling roughly 74.5 acres.

Item p43 concerned a 48.9-acre real property, transitioning its designation from commercial to planned development. This change paves the way for a new project consisting of 400 multifamily units and 300,000 square feet of commercial retail. The planning and economic growth department presented the proposed changes, emphasizing the importance of integrating multifamily and commercial spaces. Concerns were raised by some commissioners about potential limitations on commercial development, but the motion was passed without public opposition.

Following p43, item p44 was similarly approved, amending the land use from residential to planned development on approximately 25.57 acres. The project presented by the planning and economic growth department will include 350 multifamily apartments and 15,000 square feet of commercial retail office space. The site, located on the west side of Ireland Boulevard, is situated in an urban expansion area and near existing commercial properties. The commissioners deliberated over the layout and design, with particular focus on creating a walkable and inviting environment. Despite a comparison with a site plan from Lakewood Ranch, which favored a more pedestrian-friendly design, the ordinance passed unanimously.

The council also discussed a proposed project aimed at establishing a Main Street vibe, combining commercial and residential buildings with flexible layouts to accommodate various users such as breweries and retail tenants. Developers emphasized their commitment to creating a sense of place and enhancing the community. The board agreed to certain conditions and language to be added to the sub-area policy and the master-planned unit development (MPUD).

Another development in the meeting involved the dissolution of the Mill Point5 Community Development District, as it no longer had outstanding financial obligations or operational responsibilities, leading to unanimous approval of the ordinance.

The council addressed a range of zoning amendments and conditional use requests. Several items (P46, P47, P48, P49, and P50) were approved for continuation to future dates, while P51 sparked a discussion over additional square footage, ultimately sticking with the originally advertised 300,000 square feet. P52 was approved with conditions, and P56, concerning the parallel flood act, led to public support for the board’s efforts to protect the community against coastal hazards.

A disabled veteran expressed gratitude for the county’s efforts to protect flood zones, emphasizing the importance of community protection during hurricanes. The council discussed the Community Rating System (CRS) and the Resilient Pasco project, aimed at planning, strategy, and sustainability. The conversation also tackled Coastal Construction Control lines and their role in flood insurance rate maps, with an agreement on the need for further discussion.

The council tackled the issue of surplus land allocation, discussing a proposal to offer parcels to nonprofit organizations for affordable housing projects. The debate focused on reversionary clauses, the sale price of surplus land, and the potential benefits of piloting the proposal. The council moved to prioritize parcels that could uplift neighborhoods and stipulated that recipients must be Pasco County residents for at least three years.

Affordable housing was a pressing topic, with the council debating the prioritization of funds and defining income levels for qualification. The split vote reflected differing opinions on the notification process for selling properties and the allocation of funds between affordable housing and other nonprofit initiatives.

On the economic front, the council reviewed revenue forecasts and economic indicators for the fiscal year 25 budget. Presentations touched on real GDP, consumer spending, unemployment, inflation, new home permits, and taxable assessed value growth. Sales tax revenue underperformance and its link to housing costs were discussed, along with the county’s overperforming revenue sharing.

Tourism’s economic impact on Pasco County was also highlighted, with visitor spending up 12% year-over-year and sports tourism being a major contributor. The tourism director discussed visitor demographics, satisfaction, and the perception of Pasco County as a vacation destination. The lodging statistics and tourist development tax, up 35% year-over-year, were scrutinized, and the potential for international travel growth was discussed.

Furthermore, the council debated private road standards in minor rural subdivisions, focusing on property values, safety, and maintenance responsibilities. The debate extended to the Tampa Bay Transportation Management Area (TMA) and the allocation of voting power, with concerns about maintaining Pasco County’s influence.

The meeting also addressed concerns about homeless encampments, immigration, and border security, emphasizing the need for standardized procedures and additional code enforcement personnel. Positive feedback was given for community events, and the council discussed the enforcement of safety ordinances and code violations.

Lastly, the council expressed enthusiasm for the use of artificial intelligence in government operations and authorized a joint defense against a lawsuit challenging ad valorem taxes. Announcements included a Valentine’s Day ceremony, an upcoming passport event, and recent community achievements.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Mike Carballa
County Council Officials:
Ron Oakley, Seth Weightman, Kathryn Starkey, Gary Bradford, Jack Mariano

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