Pasco Commissioners Spend Hours on Homes and Home Design | News

NEW PORT RICHEY — The next time you go shopping for a home in a new development, you might think you’re the one whose architectural tastes and color choices should come first in a new home, but the County Commission of Pasco has other ideas.

For decades, community leaders have torn their hair out over communities of homes that looked similar or identical, dismissing many designs as “cookie cutters” and wanting to solve the problem of “architectural monotony”.

With a 5-0 vote on March 22, commissioners directed the Planning and Development Department to implement policy guidance through revised approval requirements for planned unit developments. These rules apply only to single-family residential development and exclude certain other developments such as the villages of Pasadena Hills, Connected City, Central Pasco Employment Village, Avalon Park West and New Port Corners, which are exempt from the first section regarding minimum widths. lot.

These areas are already designed, although the tree rules still apply.

“I don’t think we’re asking too much,” said chairwoman Kathryn Starkey, who said the idea was to ensure that houses with the same exterior appearance don’t end up next to each other.

Other rules in the policy dealt with garages, the number and type of trees to be provided, and the location of the driveway. For townhouses, they would be limited to two to eight units per building and how townhouse driveways could be positioned “so you don’t have a large expanse of sidewalk in front of the building,” Nectarios Pittos said, director of planning and development. , in its presentation of the policy note.

In October, the effectiveness of the memo would be assessed, Pittos said, and adjustments would be made as they would then have a number of negotiations behind them.

The department worked with developers and other building industry stakeholders to develop the policy, Pittos said.

Commissioner Ron Oakley said while buyers of homes on 40-foot lots might not care about architecture, those buying on 50- or 60-foot lots and spending more money might worrying about looks and what someone has next to them.

Starkey responded that some people might want a small house on a big lot, so the rules should apply to the house, regardless of the size of the lot.

Commissioner Jack Mariano said it might not matter as much on the 40 or 50 foot pitches, but with the ’60s’ it would. “Generally, I’m not going to have the same house color as my neighbor,” he said. “Some neighborhoods are nice”, even if the houses are the same color according to their restrictions.

Most neighborhoods would impose their own rules on elevations and colors, he added.

Starkey said they might see more architectural features, and buyers should choose from three features so every home is different.

There should always be restrictions, even on the biggest lot, Starkey said. “I think that’s not a high bar,” she said.

Mariano said he thinks bigger homes would be better for Pasco, and that they should encourage bigger lots for the tax base and for kids to feel better in the community.

He and Starkey agreed that homes on the more affordable and smaller lots tend to be more similar and “simple.”

“I wish I had the freedom to encourage them to build bigger pitches,” Mariano said.

The problem is, 10 years later, says Mariano, should he check deed restrictions on the type of house he could have built because of what his neighbor built?

“I think we’re going too hard with this,” Mariano said.

Most, but not all, manufacturers offer a variety of models, elevations and options, Pittos said, but not all.

Sally Sherman, the county’s assistant administrator for development services, said the developers would have to come up with a plan where they would submit the design package for different batches, and that might change their marketing strategy as people enter and select a lot. If a buyer doesn’t want a certain house on a certain lot, they may have to choose a different one.

Pittos said reports of what was being sold would be in their quarterly reports that would be submitted to the county, proving the homes being sold were different.

Homeless Services

Pasco County leads the region in homeless population and chronic homelessness, and is second in the number of homeless people per capita, but is making progress in finding housing for people, according to Marcy Esbjerg , Director of Community Development.

Staff work first to help those most in need, she said. The focus is on permanent housing rather than a ‘ladder’ approach in which clients must ‘earn’ housing.

Since October 1, 254 households have found shelter, she said, but there is a mismatch in services as families make up 17.7% of the homeless population but 49% of the total inventory of shelters. beds is dedicated to families.

The majority of homeless people, she noted, are single adults with no dependents, and more resources should be directed to them.

Mariano asked what would happen to those housed when grants and other emergency funds ran out. Esbjerg said when people enter their program, they receive help for 12 to 24 months, which is the time for them to be placed in other rehabilitation programs and services.

In other actions

• The County Commission approved development at State Road 54 and Henley Road in a 4-1 vote. The development would have 280 multi-family units and 45,000 square feet of medical or commercial office space.

• Commissioners approved 5-0 a zoning change for 6.85 acres on the north side of Bolton Avenue approximately 100 feet west of Hicks Road from agricultural-residential to single-family home /mobile. Residents have expressed concerns about the drainage and the impact on their septic systems.

• Received an update on the county’s response to the COVID pandemic.

• Approved 5-0 a resolution declaring March Bicycle Month in Pasco County.

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