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Commissioners restrict condominium project

After protests from single-family homeowners in Meadow Oaks, commissioners limit a condo development plan to two stories and 103 units.

By ALISA ULFERTS

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 26, 2000


NEW PORT RICHEY -- County commissioners on Tuesday shaved the third story and 13 units off a proposal to put in more than 100 condominiums in the golf course community of Meadow Oaks.

Roughly 100 residents showed up Tuesday to protest developer Pasco Golf Associates Inc.'s plans to build 116 units in the neighborhood.

Residents had complained that condominium construction would be like signing a "death warrant" for their neighborhood of single-family homes north of State Road 52.

They also were concerned that the condominium units would increase crime in the neighborhood, said Mike Thomas, president of the Meadow Oaks Master Association, an umbrella homeowners' association for the community.

After commissioners agreed on a compromise -- the condominium buildings cannot exceed two stories and must be capped at 103 units, not the 116 the developer wanted, neither side seemed overly pleased.

"Yes, we're pleased, but conditionally so. We just don't want a bunch of barracks," Thomas said.

Ron Padova, one of the developers, said he wasn't sure whether Pasco Golf Associates would challenge the county in court since it didn't even plan on building the units for another five years or so.

But he said the county's decision to trim 13 units from his plans -- at a cost to him of between $8,000 and $10,000 per unit -- was unfair. Previous approvals by the county already guaranteed him 955 units for the entire development. He was just shifting some of those units from one area of the development to another and was not increasing the overall number of units, he said.

"They didn't please the people and they took 13 units from us," Padova said.

In other action, county commissioners introduced an ordinance to start charging impact fees for new school construction. Commissioners heard the ordinance and agreed to schedule public hearings.

"This is something that I think is needed. Our schools are expanding," Commission Chairwoman Pat Mulieri said.

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