meadowbrook drive

State Road 54 and Meadowbrook Drive in Land O’ Lakes concluded on Aug. 10 with the Pasco County commissioners on Aug. 10 approved a zoning amendment that eventually will allow an office building be put up on a 1.67-acre piece of land at the corner of State Road 54 and Meadowbrook Drive in Land O’ Lakes.

DADE CITY – The battle over the development of a piece of property at the corner of State Road 54 and Meadowbrook Drive in Land O’ Lakes concluded on Aug. 10 with the Pasco County Commission approving a zoning amendment that eventually will allow an office building be put up on the 1.67-acre piece of land.

The zoning was changed to PO-1 Professional Office District after residents complained that the company making the request for the change, Kiddie Campus University Inc., might put up a 24-hour convenience store and gas station.

County Zoning Administrator Denise Hernandez said the applicant was agreeing to a deed restriction that the building height will be limited to two stories.

Barbara Wilhite, speaking for the applicant, said the board and the residents had been heard, and thus the request was changed to PO-1, “the lowest intensity in your code,” and left the Comprehensive Plan at RES-3.

Sharon Honeywell-Johnson, a resident of the Meadowbrook subdivision, told the commission that the people in the neighborhood didn’t want to see the land developed, but would work with the developer since it appears that something will be built there.

“We will be working along with them,” she said.

Other speakers in the chambers mentioned issues of water drainage and traffic.

Douglas Grant, speaking via WebEx, objected to the change, saying the property is actually two lots and doesn’t meet the criteria for rezoning. He pointed out that Meadowbrook Drive is not a collector road, the project is an intrusion into a residential neighborhood and that the builder could pull a bait-and-switch, and put up a building up to 35 feet tall.

Wilhite said the engineer designing the project will work with the neighbors on issues surrounding the development.

“There won’t be any bait-and-switch,” she said. “Unlike an MPUD, that sometimes you can’t see what’s in it, you can’t see what’s on the zoning map, this is PO-1, it’s got a recorded deed restriction, it can’t be more than two stories, and that’s what it’s going to be. Any change comes back through a recorded public hearing process. That would go back through the same process we’ve been through.”

Commissioner Jack Mariano asked about stormwater issues, and Hernandez said the developer will have to provide a stormwater management plan report as part of the site plan process.

“What requirements are there right now?” Mariano asked.

Brian Tibben of Planning and Development said that generally, the post-development rate of discharge off the site cannot be any worse than the discharge off the site before development.

Jarice Barbee, a principal planner for Beacon Civil Engineering, said the company will go through Southwest Florida Water Management District, state Department of Environmental Protection, and Pasco County requirements, and will offer additional flood plain compensation if needed.

Commissioner Mike Moore said he was satisfied that the applicant would work with the residents, and that since the project was on the edge of the community and not in the middle of it, he was in favor of it.

The commission voted 4-0, with Commissioner Kathryn Starkey absent, to approve the project.

After the meeting, Honeywell-Johnson said they were more in agreement with an office than a commercial operation like a gas station or a convenience store, but really would prefer that nothing be built there or a house. But at least, she added, they will be part of the process.

“We’ve been told that eventually something’s going to go in there,” she said. “At least we have an applicant that we can work with.”

In other action:

• The commission had a 42-page agenda with more than 8,100 pages of supporting documentation, including 102 items on the consent agenda. One consent agenda item was withdrawn, and five had to be pulled and revised.

Consent agenda item C6 passed without comment. It was an application for a person who wishes to work as a “fortune teller.”

• Commissioners heard a third-quarter report from Bill Cronin, chief executive of the Pasco Economic Development Council. “We are still in business,” he said. “Our pipeline continues to remain full.” There have been big successes in business recruitment and job creation, he said, but there still needs to be more work done. There are about a half-dozen that are between final agreement and announcing before the end of the year. There are leads in advanced manufacturing and IT. “These are exactly the kind of jobs we are seeking in the area,” he said.