Public Mediation Scheduled for Denied S-19 Project, Commissioner Candidates Meet & Greet An informed electorate is a well-governed electorate. Similarly, an informed candidate is likely an elected candidate. To that end, on March 31st the Seven Oaks community hosted a Meet & Greet for Pasco County District 2 and 4 candidates to present their candidacies. One of the biggest issues discussed was uncontrolled overdevelopment. Of particular concern was the SD, LLC proposal [p.4] to rezone Seven Oaks Parcel S-19 (the Commercial land next to the SR56/581 Sam's Club) to build a vertical mixed-use development of limited retail and office space topped by 320 apartments with at least 640 vehicles and over 1000 people. The 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] as detailed in Resolution 2225RZ. 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. In accordance with Florida Statute 70.51, a Special Magistrate has been appointed and the Mediation phase is underway. Chief Assistant County Attorney David A. Goldstein has said that “the hearing phase will be addressed at a later date, and only if mediation is unsuccessful.” A public Mediation Meeting is scheduled for 9 A.M. on 4/25/2022 at the Historic Courthouse at 37918 Meridian Ave, Dade City, FL 33525. It will address issues raised regarding alternatives, variances, and other types of adjustments to the S-19 rezoning application which may impact substantial interests, including denial of the rezoning application. Because the proceedings will use “break-out” sessions, all participation must be in-person. The public is welcome to attend but only those who previously requested participation in the proceedings/their group representatives will have the opportunity to provide oral/optional written comments. Additional opportunities to comment on any tentative agreement on any settlement terms will be provided. Additional Mediation Meetings may be scheduled if needed. If Mediation is unsuccessful, a Hearing will be announced to conclude the Mediation phase and the Special Magistrate will issue a non-binding Recommendation. 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 will have a number of options. They could, for example, agree to a modified proposal, reach a settlement or accept the Recommendation. Absent agreement to change, the Developer could propose a new zoning-compliant retail, office or civic project, sell the property to a Commercial developer or even file suit hoping a Court would overturn the BCC re-zoning Denial. In any case, Pasco’s 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 [BCC] after a duly noticed public hearing.” We live in a free republic based on capitalism. That includes Developers building apartments to make money. But despite a recent fixation on vertical mixedspotzoning [p. 21] and use apartment buildings, it is Government's responsibility to meet the needs of all of its citizens, corporate and human. There are other apartmentappropriate parcels availab le better positioned to serve Pasco and the employees of the nearby 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 Comprehensive Pla n. forward to your support in realizing SWe look 19's Commercial potential and reining in uncontrolled overdevelopment in Pasco County. And remember, “Development is a privilege” not a right. (Trent Meredith, Inc. vs. City of Oxnard, 114 CAL. App. 3d 317 (1981)).
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