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Plan for King site is taking shape

Published March 6, 2007


WESLEY CHAPEL - Before the dust has even settled on a 488-apartment "Scarpo" proposal on Cypress Creek Road, another similar project has emerged for 548 homes directly to its south.

Martha and Henry "Hank" King III, mother and son, have a plan to turn 42 acres into 508 apartments and 40 town homes on the northwestern corner of their property, on County Line Road and Cypress Creek Road.

This would be the first of two parts for the King Ranch's development plan. The second includes mostly 1-million square feet of light industrial, commercial and office space.

The residential component, tentatively set to be built out by 2011, is a virtual mirror image of the Scarpo proposal, which calls for 488 apartments on 30 acres. Texas-based Greystar is developing the Scarpo site; King has not yet found a developer.

King clashed with the Scarpos on road improvements required by the county as part of their development deals. Among other improvements, Pasco planners want the Scarpos to remove some trees and move light poles at the southern end of Cypress Creek Road.

But King has so far not agreed to let Scarpo onto his property for the work.

The disagreement has delayed the Scarpo rezoning twice.

Now, both sides will get a hearing at the March 14 Development Review Committee in New Port Richey. The committee is Pasco's top staff planning agency.

But a deal may be worked out before then.

"What's probably going to happen is that we'll end up giving the county the right of way they want for improvements required by the county's traffic impact study and our study," said Clarke Hobby, King's attorney.

The county is still in the midst of finalizing its traffic study, said Ahsan Khalil, Pasco's transportation planner.

King's proposal currently sets aside nearly 6 acres for a neighborhood park, 2 acres of wetlands and 3 acres of ponds.

The second, larger component, tentatively scheduled to be completed by 2020, is an array of business space, with 35 acres proposed for something called "themed specialty commercial."

This means stores selling specialty products like sporting goods, said King Helie, the project's engineer.

Would this mean that King would end up competing with the Cypress Creek Town Center mall just northeast of King Ranch?

Not so, Helie said.

"He would just work off of them," he said. "When these malls get built, they spin off other uses."

Chuin-Wei Yap covers growth and development in Pasco County. He can be reached at (813) 909-4613 or

[Last modified March 5, 2007, 23:44:10]

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