Developments move one step closer

City Council approves multiple ordinances

Zephyrhills City Council’s action Monday night brought proposed planned housing and commercial developments one step closer to reality.

In a series of ordinance approvals, council approved an annexation, zoning changes, a planned development, a development agreement and amendments to the city’s comprehensive plan to move several projects forward. The approval of the six ordinances came on the second reading, but not without plenty of discussion.

The planned unit development master plan amendment for the proposed Trotter’s Crossing development just north of Phelps Road was a hot topic. The 91-home proposed development on the 30-acre parcel will be located just behind a line of homes on the northeast potion of Phelps Road.

Councilman Alan Knight expressed his concerns about the large number of homes in a condensed area with only one way in and one way out of the development. He has publicly shared his opinion that without multiple access points to enter the development, it is a safety issue for those who will live there.

“I have not been whole-heartedly been behind this,” said Knight who voted against the amendment. “I’m really concerned about one way in and one way out. Every time this comes up, I see it as a safety issue. I would love to see another way in or out. I’m very concerned.”

Planning director Todd Vande Berg explained that Silverado, a popular, large development in the city, has one entrance and one exit onto Eiland Boulevard.

The subject of a buffer between the homes on Phelps Road and the new development is being proposed by the developer adequately separate the properties.

Zephyrhills resident Warren Earle, who represented his daughter who lives on Phelps Road, has seen similar proposed projects in the past in the planning stages, but nothing ever came of them.

“I have a feeling this project is going to be like 2015 when nothing happened,” Earle told members of council during the public hearing. “The same thing that was bugging that project then is going to be bugging them this time. The roads and water were the problem. There may never be a shovel in the ground.”

Council approved to annex and rezone 17.35 acres of land between Tucker Road and Alston Avenue. Additionally, council approved a large-scale comprehensive plan amendment changing the land use of an adjacent 18.2 acres from agricultural to residential. Both approvals open the door for a 180-unit development in the southeastern part of the city.

Council also approved a development agreement and a zoning amendment for 173 acres of the Abbott Square development on the west side of Simons Road, north of Althea Lane.

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