EAST LAKE — Once the abandoned barn comes down, a 22-acre former horse ranch off East Lake Road will be transformed into an upscale neighborhood with a 5,000-square-foot medical office.
Deeb Family Homes is now selling 10 lots on the green space just south of Crescent Oaks Boulevard in northeast Pinellas County, said Chris Koncal, a development representative for the Barclay Group in Palm Harbor. The gated community of single-family homes will be called Foxwood Estates.
The future medical building might be a dental, OB/GYN or general doctor's office, Koncal said, and will be built on two of the 22 acres once a buyer claims the lot. An opening date will be announced after a deal is made, he said.
And, Koncal said, a 4,100-square-foot home with a pool, the original home on the ranch, will be renovated from top to bottom and put up for sale.
Most residents of Crescent Oaks, a 444-home neighborhood near the future development, are in favor of the development, said John Miolla, president of the Crescent Oaks Community Association.
"But one lady I know was angry she could no longer see the horses from her window," Miolla said. "The horses left two years ago. That's the only real complaint I've heard."
Veronica Kauchak, who has lived in the neighborhood for 12 years, said that if it were up to her, the land would remain a sprawling pasture.
"I guess anything's better than a bus stop, gas station or apartment complex," said the East Lake artist, 52. "We're worried about the traffic increasing here."
At their March 19 meeting, county commissioners unanimously approved a change in zoning category from agricultural estate residential to residential planned development at .5-unit per acre, plus a special exception to allow the medical clinic.
Al Navaroli, director of Pinellas County Development Services, said the 22-acre parcel is in the county's wellhead protection zone. Developments in the area, he said, must properly dispose of waste products to avoid underground water pollution.
"The single-family homes are not a major concern. They don't typically have hazardous substances," he said. "The medical building will be scrutinized. Are you adequately containing materials? What's your methodology in dealing with those materials? It's important to prevent spills from going off-site into the soil."
Danielle Paquette can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 445-4224.