WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. – An appeal has been filed against the Pasco County Board of County Commissioners to repeal the decision to rezone Seven Oaks Parcel S-19 from Commercial to vertical Mixed-Use – Multi-Family.
On January 11, 2022, Stock Development (a.k.a., SD, LLC) asked the Pasco Board of County Commissioners (BCC) to rezone the Commercial-zoned property next to the Seven Oaks Sam’s Club store (a.k.a., S-19) from retail/office to mixed-use-apartments.
Originally intended for a bank and a Walmart Grocery store, the property lay fallow for years despite its ideal location and multiple realtors/suitors. The owner’s, Walmart, deed restrictions may have played a role.
As evidenced in the deed of S-19 to SD, Walmart retains all sub-surface rights, allows a bank but forbids any Sam’s Club competitors, and specifies the construction of 300 apartments [a.k.a., 1000 customers] subject to Walmart approval of all development plans.
SD purchased 10 acre S-19 on April 1, 2022, to build 320 apartments for over 800 residents and their 700 vehicles next to the busy Sam’s Club store, car wash, and gas station encircled by already overwhelmed SR56/581/Ancient Oaks/Summergate Boulevard roads and intersections.
Incensed Wesley Chapel citizens wrote letters, called Commissioners, attended meetings, presented legal evidence, and dedicated many hours to defeat the proposal. The project was considered a dense-packed traffic hazard unsafe for pedestrians, children, pets, bicycles, and local/passing vehicles and it would cost the County more to service than it would contribute in taxes.
The BCC voted 3-2 to Deny the request with Commissioners Oakley, Mariano & Moore for; Starkey & Fitzpatrick against.
Commissioner Oakley even added that the lot was too small, with too many vehicles and insufficient parking, parks, and open space.
On February 9, 2022, the developer requested Mediation. Unable to sway the community, Mediation ended on September 9, 2022.
With the election of 2 Commissioners looming, on October 11, 2022 SD presented a “Settlement Agreement” – a virtually identical proposal that also promised to pay any County legal expenses if their proposal was approved, then challenged.
The BCC voted 3-2 to approve the proposal, with Commissioners Starkey, Fitzpatrick, and [now] Oakley for; Mariano and Moore against. That left only one avenue to preserve the definition of the Master Planned Unit Development, the Comprehensive Plan, and the Seven Oaks community – filing an appeal with the courts.
On November 10, 2022, Patrick Mullen filed an Appeal of the faulty October 11, 2022, BCC decision (Resolution 23-09RZ).
The goal of the Appeal (Case # 2022CA002963) is to return S-19 to retail/office use for the completion of the Seven Oaks Plaza shopping center. A County Response is expected by December 10, 2022. The Appellant’s Rebuttal is then due by December 24 2022.
“Pasco residents should not be subjected to the County’s ongoing disregard of the Land Development Code, Comprehensive Plan, State law, and its own citizens. Nor an unsafe, developer-directed, spot-zoned, dense-packed, planning/development Vision we do not share,” said Mullens.