PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — A large piece of Pasco County has been picked for a substantial housing development and transformation — a development and transformation that now has the approval of county commissioners.
Just east of New Port Richey, near the intersection of Little and Decubellis Roads, Lennar Homes wants to build a new community called New Port Corners.
According to a brochure, the development would be a “walkable, connected mixed-use community destination featuring neighborhood parks, amenity centers, and conservation areas connected through pedestrian-focused and bicycle-friendly greenways.”
It would contain 3,400 homes; a village center; space for restaurants, offices, and shops; trails and parks; and maybe even a charter school at some point.
“What we’re trying to do is take the last big hole in the doughnut and do a quality project that will complement all of West Pasco and downtown New Port Richey, because it’s in close proximity to it,” explained Clarke Hobby, an attorney for the home builder, in a recent meeting.
It’s a vision, however, Margo Robinson, Marc Jeske, and other neighbors are fighting.
They’re concerned about the loss of trees and green space. They also worry about the addition of traffic on Little Road, which already sees a steady flow of cars.
“Chaos,” worried Jeske. “You know, this is going to become Route 19 in the middle of the state. We don’t need that.”
“If you put another 3,400 homes right here — which could well be 7-8,000 people right here — hello!” exclaimed Robinson. “What is your traffic going to be like?”
In a March 17 meeting of the county’s Planning Commission, Hobby tried to calm some of those fears.
He said the project is designed to divert traffic onto major arteries.
“What we don’t want to do is overwhelm our neighbors,” he said.
Hobby said developers also don’t want to remove trees unnecessarily.
“We don’t want to start with just a bulldozed site,” he explained. “The site’s too special.”
Still, Robinson and others are not convinced.
“It’s just going to be a nightmare,” she said.
Despite the concern, during a Tuesday afternoon meeting, the Pasco County Board of County Commissioners approved the rezoning required to advance the project.