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Dade City community pushes back against residential development

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Posted at 3:45 PM, Jul 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-30 23:36:44-04

DADE CITY, Fla.  — Dade City is known for its rural feel, with rolling hills and beautiful lakes. It’s the reason many people love living there.

“Just a quaint, historic, rural small town,” said Peggy Woods.

But Woods and her neighbors fear that will soon change.

“They want to have a place for their horses. A place where they can see nature. And I'm very concerned because right now the City Council has already approved about 3,700 new homes,” Woods said.

The more than a dozen residential projects currently underway could bring 6,000 new homes to Dade City in the next five years.

“We’ll suffer from the traffic congestion. Our roads are not designed for any of that kind of increase in traffic,” she said.

The City Commission just approved plans to build more than 400 homes on the property at Happy Hill and St. Joe.

“Do I want to see a whole bunch of homes built on it? No. I don’t want to see that. It’s an iconic piece of property,” said Knute Nathe, Dade City Commissioner for Group 4.

Commissioner Nathe said they were able to negotiate with the home builder to reduce the density on the property.

“Sixty percent of this acreage is going to be greenspace. It’s going to be woods, stormwater, it’s going to be a lake and that is something we pushed really hard for, based on citizen feedback,” Nathe said.

Still people who live in this scenic area want residential development to slow down.

“It just needs to be smart growth. This urban style density is not appropriate for the area,” said Woods.