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.

S-19 Mediation Continues: 320 Apartments Next To Sam’s Club In Wesley Chapel

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.

By: Patrick Mullen

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. – As of June 20, 2022, the future of S-19, the 10.6-acre commercial parcel next to the Wesley Chapel Sam’s Club, is still in Mediation and still confidential.  

Results will be made public when available.

The Mediation is in response to the SD, LLC Request for Mediation of Pasco County’s Denial of the SD, LLC proposal to rezone S-19 for vertical mixed-use development including 20,000 ft2 of retail and office space with 320 apartments, at least 640 vehicles, and over 1000 residents.  

Led by a Special Magistrate in accordance with Florida Statute 70.51, the purpose of the Mediation is to address issues raised in the Request for Mediation, the County’s rebuttal, and alternatives, variances, and other types of adjustments to the S-19 rezoning application including denial.  Additional Mediation meetings may be scheduled if needed.  Opportunities to comment on any tentative agreement on any settlement terms will be provided. 

If Mediation is unsuccessful, a Hearing will be announced to conclude the Mediation phase and the Special Magistrate will issue a non-binding Recommendation. 

In any case, Pasco’s Chief Assistant County Attorney David Goldstein has made it clear that “unless the [result of the Mediation phase] is some version of preserving the status quo (the site only being permitted for office or retail uses), it would require additional action by the [Board of County Commissioners] after a duly noticed public hearing.” 

The SD, LLC proposal was presented at the 1/11/2022 Board of County Commissioners (BCC) meeting.  It was met with astute analysis and overwhelming community opposition

As a result, the BCC voted 3-2 to deny the proposal [p. 23-24, Oakley, Mariano and Moore vs. Starkey and Fitzpatrick] as detailed in Resolution 22-25RZ.  

On 2/9/2022, the Developer requested Mediation while threatening 2 Commissioners and the County Clerk and promising litigation should the Mediation fail.  On 2/24/2022, the County responded with a rebuttal that re-affirmed the Denial. 

A Special Magistrate was appointed, a public Mediation Meeting was held (4/25/2022) and confidential negotiations continue.  The process is mandated to end before August although the parties could extend, reach an agreement, or withdraw from the proceedings at any time.  

The Developer/County have a number of options available to them.  They could, for example, agree to a modified proposal, reach a settlement, or accept the Special Magistrate’s Recommendation.  Or, the Developer could propose a new zoning-compliant retail/office project, sell the property to the County or a Commercial developer or even file suit hoping a Court would overturn the County’s robust re-zoning Denial.  

We live in a free republic based on capitalism. That includes Developers building apartments to make money. But despite a recent fixation on spot-zoning [p. 21] and vertical mixed-use apartment buildings, it is Government’s responsibility to meet the needs of all of its citizens, corporate and human.  

There are other apartment-appropriate right-sized parcels available better positioned to serve Pasco and the employees of the nearby Lexus, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Advent, Bay Care and Blue Heron facilities.  Wesley Chapel welcomes their development, and the completion of the Sam’s Club shopping center in accordance with the County’s existing Comprehensive Plan. 

In any case, “Development is a privilege” not a right. (Trent Meredith, Inc. vs. City of Oxnard, 114 CAL. App. 3d 317 (1981)).

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