NEW PORT RICHEY — A new land use plan that will make it easier to develop Wiregrass Ranch won preliminary approval Thursday. The county's top planners okayed a measure that classifies the entire megadevelopment as a "municipal planned unit development district." The classification gives the developers the flexibility to move projects to lands they consider better suited for the overall development. Wiregrass Ranch, which at 5,000 acres is among the largest regional developments in west Florida, is expected to include a town center, parks, more than 10,000 homes and a 300,000-square-foot recreational facility along with sports fields. In addition, officials approved a measure that would relax the rules prohibiting alcohol sales close to schools, churches or parks. Developers said they needed the change to allow for mixed uses such as restaurants. Also approved Thursday were master bike and pedestrian paths and a park plan that would consolidate the land, rather than having separate scattered sites. The plans must be approved by the County Commission to go into effect.
Wiregrass Ranch land use plan gains support
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