More than 1,000 residents have already let Planning they oppose the project, but developer V-Care consultants continues to seek to change Pasco County’s Comprehensive Plan.
Dade City, Florida. Residents in the Northeast Pasco Rural Protected Overlay have been vocal in their opposition to a proposed RV/Condo resort on rural Lake Iola Road for over two years. On Thursday, January 6th at 1:30 pm at the Historic Dade City Courthouse, the first public hearing with the Planning Commission will be held about this proposed development.
“This high-density park will be located in the middle of the Northeast Rural Overlay which was specifically designated as an area to be protected in the Pasco County Comprehensive Plan,” notes Kelly Smith, local realtor and part of the No St. Joe RV Park group (https://nostjoervpark.com), “the residency density in the area is 1 dwelling per 5 acres; this project will have more than 24 times that density.” [see page 2-33 through 2-39 of the Comprehensive Plan at https://bit.ly/349mPfl]
“We are particularly concerned about this project because it is doing an end-run around the rural density requirements by asking for a new sub-area designation AND a commercial zoning in an area that is specifically NOT to have commercial development,” adds Nancy Hazelwood of the Northeast Pasco Citizens Oversight Committee, “this project undermines everything we have worked for to protect this unique part of Florida – rural lifestyle, wildlife, dark skies, beautiful views – and it sets a dangerous precedence for more high density and commercial development along this scenic, rural road.”
While the legal representative for V-Care consultants has argued that this project fits into the long-range land-use plan for the protected overlay, residents are quick to point out that County Commissioner Ron Oakley has empaneled a citizen’s group to make recommendations about commercial development in the protected area. That committee has not finished creating its recommendations. Residents feel this project is trying to “slide in under the wire” using the requirements for the entire county when the rural area is specifically called out for different standards.
“We feel like we are living our own version of the movie “Don’t Look Up” over here in the Northeast Rural Area,” says Lisa Moretti from No St. Joe RV Park. “No one living in the area thinks this project is appropriate. It will cause significant damage to our wells, our water supply, our wildlife, our roads, services needed, all without returning a balance back to the local economy. The developer is focused on tourism for Wesley Chapel – we aren’t Wesley Chapel, we are the beautiful rolling pasture lands of Dade City, St. Joe, Trilby, Blanton – charming small-town America that is being paved over by developers at every turn. The county needs to reject this project.”
While residents recognize that development is coming to the area, they are asking why in the Rural Overlay? “We made compromises with the county years ago to protect this land, if you are going to have rules, you should follow them!” says Hazelwood. “Put development where we all agreed it would go. The plan is sound, why is the county being so weak about protecting it?”
The proposed development includes 550 RV/Condo spaces, yurts, cottages, two swimming pools, a splash pad, food service, restrooms, entertainment venues, and a proposed ‘nature park’ area on Lake Moody. Residents shake their heads because they know the lake is full of alligators and is fragile thanks to runoff from 1-75. “While the movie says “Don’t Look Up”, we are appalled that the county refuses to Look Down,” says Smith, “Pie in the sky talk from developers with the offer of quick dollars will be the destruction of this area. This rural land is worth protecting; once it’s gone, you can’t get it back.”
Media Contact: Kelly Smith, 813-716-8454