Op-Ed By: Patrick Mullen
PASCO COUNTY, FL. – On January 11, 2022, Stock Development, LLC submitted a Proposal to the Pasco Florida Board of County Commissioners (BCC) to build a 320 unit vertical-mixed-use luxury apartment complex on Commercial-zoned land next to the SR56/581 Sam’s Club (a.k.a. S-19).
It was denied by a 3 to 2 vote with Commissioners Mike Moore, Jack Mariano, and Ron Oakley against vs. Christina Fitzpatrick and new BCC Chair Kathryn Starkey for the vote.
On February 9, 2022, Stock submitted a Request for Relief to Chair Starkey and County Attorney John Steinsnyder for independent mediation of the Proposal.
On the same day, Stock served a Demand for Preservation of Evidence threatening Moore and Mariano with legal action should any of their S-19 information be destroyed. In a February 7, 2022, public records request, the Custodian of Records was also warned of legal action should the records not be provided.
The Demand also stated that “Should mediation fail, Stock Development intends to enforce its rights through litigation.”
The Proposal requested multiple exceptions to State and County laws and was considered incompatible with the County Master Plan and the surrounding Seven Oaks community. It exceeded development density by 33%, failed to provide sufficient open space/parks, shrunk parking space, and would have added at least 640 cars and 1024 residents to local roads.
With nearby apartment-ready property available across the street from 500 employment opportunities at the new Blue Heron Senior facility and upcoming Bay Care hospital, rezoning the undersized S-19 property seemed inappropriate.
The County’s 8.8% population growth is far exceeded by the 40% rise in demand for Commercial space/professional offices to serve them. Their own recent Community Survey confirmed it, with over 70% of County residents asserting that job and retail growth was too slow. Details can be found in the community’s successful rezoning opposition presentation at: https://www.sevenoakslife.com/files/Apartments/S-19%2020220111%20final2.pdf.
The mediation process is run by an agreed-upon Special Magistrate to help the Developer and County try to reach a mutually acceptable solution and issue a recommendation.
The County will mail Hearing invitations to S-19 adjoining property owners and those who already submitted oral or written testimony. Replies to participate must be received by the Chief Assistant County Attorney, David Goldstein, within 21 days of the Developer’s February 9, 2022, request, unless otherwise specified.
The Developer’s “Request for Relief” can be found at: https://bit.ly/3syvuR1. Their “Demand for Preservation of Documents, Electronically Stored Information, and Tangible Evidence” can be found at: https://bit.ly/3szO5w7.
The County is preparing its response to the “Request for Relief.”
What’s your response…? Let the decision-makers know how you feel about S-19, overdevelopment and how it affects your life. Use the list below to e-mail or call any or all of the Pasco County Commissioners. After all, they’ll be negotiating on your behalf.
And remember, “Development is a privilege” not a right. (Trent Meredith, Inc. vs. City of Oxnard, 114 CAL. App. 3d 317.
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