County defends Decision

County Defends Denial:  S-19 Mediation Process Update   The Proposal On 1/11/2022 Stock Development, LLC [SD] submitted a Proposal to the Pasco Florida Board of County Commissioners (BCC) to build a 320 unit vertical-mixed-use luxury apartment complex on Parcel S-19, Commercial-zoned land next to the SR56/581 Sam's Club.  With nearby apartment-ready property available across the street from 500 employment opportunities at the new Blue Heron Senior facility and upcoming Bay Care hospital, rezoning the undersized S-19 property seemed inappropriate.  The Proposal 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. The Threats On 2/9/2022 Stock submitted a Request for Relief to the County for mediation of the Proposal and served a  Demand for Preservation of Documents, Electronically Stored Information, and Tangible Evidence threatening Moore and Mariano with legal action should any of their S-19 information be destroyed.  An attached 2/7/2022 Records Request warned the Custodian of Records [Nikki AlvarezSowles] of legal action should the records not be provided.  The Demand also stated that “Should mediation fail, Stock Development intends to enforce its rights through litigation.” The Response On 2/24/2022 the County replied with a vigorous Response to the Request for Relief.  It included the 18point Denial of Stock’s Proposal, Resolution 22-25RZ, signed by Chair Starkey.  It asserted that the Denial was based on substantial competent evidence, was not unreasonable and does not unfairly burden the use of S-19.  As a result, the Denial should stand undisturbed.   The Process In accordance with Florida Statute 70.51, a Special Magistrate, David Mechanik, Esq., AICP, was agreed upon to help Stock Development and the County try to reach a mutually acceptable solution.  On 2/22/2022 the County mailed invitations to participate in the proceedings to S-19 adjoining property owners and those who already submitted oral or written testimony.  Replies to the invitations must be received by the Chief Assistant County Attorney, David Goldstein, within 21 days of receipt, at 8731 Citizens Drive, Suite 340, New Port Richey, FL 34654, or  Unless otherwise agreed to, upon receipt of the Request for Relief the Special Magistrate will:  1) consider the merit of the Request for Relief, 2) seek solutions with Stock and the County, 3) hold an informal public Hearing within 45 days and 4) issue Recommendations within 165 days. The Progress Late today, Chief Assistant County Attorney David Goldstein announced that “the parties have agreed to bifurcate the mediation and hearing phases of the 70.51 process into different dates.  At this time, we have only discussed the process for the mediation phase.  Any details regarding the hearing phase will be addressed at a later date, and only if mediation is unsuccessful.  Subject to us confirming availability, the mediation will likely take place at the Historic Courthouse in Dade City sometime in mid to late April.  Anyone who has notified our office of their intent to participate will be notified of the exact date and time, once confirmed.  The mediation phase of a 70.51 proceeding is informal, and the Special Magistrate has agreed that all interested persons and/or their group representative(s) will have an opportunity to verbally provide comments at the mediation.  There is no need to provide written comments prior to or during the mediation.  We have agreed that introductory comments by all persons (including the petitioner and County) will be limited to 15 minutes each.  However, if the parties (the petitioner and County) are able to reach tentative agreement on any settlement terms, the Special Magistrate will provide additional opportunities for interested persons to verbally comment on any tentative settlement.  Because mediations require the use of break-out sessions (discussions with select participants in separate rooms), we have agreed that all participation at the mediation must be in person, and there will not be any virtual participation option.”  The Bottom Line The BCC denied the Stock Development S-19 Proposal.  That’s where the County has to start any mediation from.  There’s plenty of substantial factual evidence in the BCC meeting transcript and the Community’s 28 page Rezoning Opposition Presentation to defend the decision and refute Stock’s claims and demands.  No one is being unlawfully burdened.  Quite the contrary.  The Community is looking forward to seeing swank new apartments, sleek offices and upscale retail…in the parcels zoned for them 20 years ago by the Comprehensive Plan.   What to do now?  If you received an invitation and want to participate in the proceedings, e-mail your acceptance immediately to Chief Assistant County Attorney, David Goldstein at  If you did not receive an invitation, request participation at the same address particularly if you have new, relevant, factual evidence. In any case, read the Developer’s Request for Relief and the County’s Response to the Request for Relief which includes the signed Denial (Resolution 22-25RZ). Then, use the list below to e-mail or call any or all of the Pasco County Commissioners, Attorneys and Directors and thank them for listening to and serving the citizens of Pasco County.  Thank them for upholding the law.  And, encourage them to defend the Denial. And remember, “Development is a privilege” not a right. (Trent Meredith, Inc. vs. City of Oxnard, 114 CAL. App. 3d 317).   Commissioners  (727) 847-8109  (727) 847-8100  (352) 521-4111  (352) 521-4111  (727) 847-2411 County Attorney  

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