DADE CITY — County commissioners gave initial approval Wednesday to development at the Epperson Ranch, a 2,000-acre property between Dade City and Wesley Chapel.
When completed in 2015, the development is expected to have 50,000 square feet of office space, 209,000 square feet of commercial land, 3,095 residential units and 100 motel rooms, as well as a site for an elementary school.
With no discussion, commissioners unanimously granted the development agreement, a first step in clearing the way for the development, which sits 1.5 miles east of Interstate 75 and 2 miles south of State Road 52 and 2 miles north of State Road 54.
Commission Chairman Ted Schrader abstained from voting as his twin brother Terry is a real estate agent representing the Epperson family.
The county requires the developer to build a pipeline project that would expand two-lane Curley Road to four lanes, with the potential for six lanes if needed.
The agreements will be submitted to the state Department of Community Affairs for approval before the developers can proceed.
The move gets the development back on track. Originally owned by Lennar Homes, the development was on the verge of getting county approval when Lennar sold out to Metro Development Group, which put the project on hold while it digested its big haul from Lennar's fire sale.
In other business, commissioners put off once again whether to grant a rezoning that would allow a developer to build 266 homes on 403 acres across from Pasco-Hernando Community College. Planner Michael Holbrook, who represents owners of the old Touchton property, wanted to build 266 homes in a neighborhood to be named Berry Hill Estates but shuffled plans after opposition from neighbors.
He returned with a proposal that still called for the same number of homes, but with some that would sit on bigger lots. Developers also offered to install 300 feet of buffer, triple the initial amount, on one edge of the project.
The commission rescheduled the matter for Nov. 25.
Lisa Buie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 909-4604.