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Pulte doesn't get welcome mat

Despite neighbors' objections, the planning board passes along the developer's plans to build 112 homes on 47 acres.

By JAMES THORNER, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 12, 2002

DADE CITY -- A group of Land O'Lakes neighbors gave Pulte Homes the cold shoulder Wednesday as the Pasco County Planning Commission signed off on the corporate giant's plans for 112 homes west of U.S. 41.

Pulte is buying a 47-acre pine tree plantation on the southeast corner of Lake Thomas and Drexel roads, a purchase that didn't sit right with neighbors. They said the development didn't fit the mostly rural neighborhood.

Debra Cates said she just built her dream house on nearby Lake Thomas and planned to replant an orange grove in keeping with the area's agricultural heritage.

Now comes Pulte, which plans to seal its deal with landowners Granville and Elizabeth Kinsman next year.

Cates questioned the wisdom of building 112 homes in a community that relies on the soon-to-be-overcrowded Sanders Elementary School.

"If you put that many houses out there, where are these kids going to go?" Cates asked the Planning Commission at its meeting in Dade City.

Others wondered whether narrow country roads such Drexel and Lake Thomas could handle new homeowners' cars.

Ben Harrill, the attorney representing Pulte, said his client would build 75-foot-wide lots, which he called "substantial lots for subdivisions these days."

Pulte also will bring improvements by extending sewer and water lines to a neighborhood served by septic tanks and private wells, Harrill said.

The company's rezoning application is up for a final vote, before the county commissioners, at a meeting that starts at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 24 in New Port Richey.

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