Pasco County 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.

Pasco County Defends Denial:  S-19 Mediation Begins

By: Patrick Mullen

WESLEY CHAPEL, FL. – On January 11, 2022, Stock Development, LLC [SD] submitted a Proposal to the Pasco Florida Board of County Commissioners (BCC) to build a 320 unit vertical-mixed-use luxury apartment complex on S-19, Commercial-zoned land next to the SR56/581 Sam’s Club. 

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 proposal was denied by a 3 to 2 vote with Commissioners Mike Moore, Jack Mariano, and Ron Oakley against, versus Christina Fitzpatrick and new BCC Chair Kathryn Starkey for the proposal.

On February 9, 2022, Stock submitted a Request for Relief to the County for mediation of the Proposal and served a  Demand for Preservation of Documents, Electronically Stored Information, and Tangible Evidence threatening Moore and Mariano with legal action should any of their S-19 information be destroyed.  An attached 2/7/2022 Records Request warned the Custodian of Records [Nikki Alvarez-Sowles] 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.”

On February 24, 2022, the County replied with a vigorous Response to the Request for Relief.  It included the 18-point Denial of Stock’s Proposal, Resolution 22-25RZ, signed by Chair Starkey.  It asserted that the Denial was based on substantial competent evidence, was not unreasonable, and does not unfairly burden the use of S-19.  As a result, the Denial should stand undisturbed.

In accordance with Florida Statute 70.51, a Special Magistrate, David Mechanik, Esq., AICP, was agreed upon to help Stock Development and the County try to reach a mutually acceptable solution. 

On February 22, 2022 the County mailed invitations to participate in the proceedings to S-19 adjoining property owners and those who already submitted oral or written testimony.  Replies to the invitations must be received by the Chief Assistant County Attorney, David Goldstein, within 21 days of receipt, at 8731 Citizens Drive, Suite 340, New Port Richey, FL 34654, or dgoldstein@pascocountyfl.net.  

Unless otherwise agreed to, upon receipt of the Request for Relief the Special Magistrate will:  1) consider the merit of the Request for Relief, 2) seek solutions with Stock and the County, 3) hold an informal public Hearing within 45 days and 4) issue Recommendations within 165 days.

The BCC denied the Stock Development S-19 Proposal.  That’s where the County has to start any mediation from.  There’s plenty of substantial factual evidence in the BCC meeting transcript and the Community’s 28-page Rezoning Opposition Presentation to refute Stock’s claims and demands.  No one is being unlawfully burdened.  Quite the contrary.  The Community is looking forward to seeing swank new apartments, sleek offices, and upscale retail…in the parcels zoned for them 20 years ago by the Comprehensive Plan.

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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