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New Port Richey City Council heard the second reading of an ordinance to approve the Oyster Bayou Development Project on March 19. The first reading, on March 5, moved forward 4-0.

NEW PORT RICHEY – A plot of land west of U.S. 19-Gulf Coast Highway planned for development more than a decade ago looks to be moving forward with a new developer.

The New Port Richey City Council heard the second reading of an ordinance amending the Oyster Bayou Planned Development District Ordinance Tuesday after passing the first reading 4-0, on March 5.

The development will be constructed on about 7.7 acres of land at the northwest corner of Green Key Road and Manor Beach Drive. It was originally zoned as a Planned Development District, in 2006, to become a townhouse community. In the wake of the 2007-2008 collapse of the Florida housing market, that venture failed and Palm Harbor-based Oyster Bayou Management, LLC has taken over with a new vision for the property.

Prior to the ordinance’s passage March 5 during its first public reading, Oyster Bayou’s plan was approved unanimously by the city’s Land Development Review Board on Feb. 21.

The biggest change from the original development to the current model, said New Port Richey Planning and Development Director George Romagnoli, is transitioning from townhouses to elevated homes.

“It’s going to be a community geared toward owners of recreational vehicles,” Romagnoli said to the council during the first reading. “So, the homes will be next to parking for the recreational vehicles that are there.”

Romagnoli described the elevated homes as duplex-type buildings and Oyster Bayou will be an owner community. It’s not intended to be a timeshare or rental community.

The 2006 development plan called for the construction of 62 units and that will be increased to 66 at Oyster Bayou. The maximum height of each building is being reduced from 40 feet to 32 feet. The original plan included a six-foot high perimeter wall, but that’s been removed.

City Manager Debbie Manns told council members that the Oyster Bayou development will include amenities like a pool, waterfront access, a boat ramp and a clubhouse for use of owners within the subdivision.

Mayor Rob Marlowe and Councilman Peter Altman described Oyster Bayou as an interesting development and concept during the first reading that passed 4-0. Councilman Jeff Starkey was not in attendance at the March 5 meeting. The ordinance’s second reading came during this Tuesday’s regular meeting after press time.