NewsPasco County


Dade City community fighting 'urban sprawl'

Dade city development
Posted at 8:41 PM, Mar 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 20:41:23-04

DADE CITY — Residential construction is booming in Dade City, but some in that Pasco County community are not so happy about it.

About 45 miles from downtown Tampa, you can find a much different view.

“What draws people to our small town is its beautiful hills, vista, lakes. Its rural character," said Peggy Woods.

But like so many parts of the Bay Area, Dade City is growing.

There are several residential projects proposed or already underway.

There could be enough new homes to double the population that’s now about 7500.

“Development has to happen. The state of Florida is gaining 800 new residents a day. We have to put them somewhere. But we don’t have to put them in 40-foot lots, in tiny little homes, built by the country’s largest builder," said Mylez Edward.

One plan would put hundreds of homes on a scenic property known as Happy Hill.

People who live around here are mobilizing to stop it.

They are putting up signs, posting blogs, and getting as many people involved as possible.

“It’s easy to get people involved because they see the danger and they want to protect what’s here," said Phillip Clark.

The Dade City planning board did not endorse the new plan.

Now a group of residents hopes the city commission will vote it down.

But everyone knows more people moving to Dade City means more tax dollars.

And even those opposing the project know growth is enviable.

“You can’t stop development. We understand that. We just want them not to put urban densities in the rural area," said Woods.