Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco commissioners buy 500-acre preserve to mitigate future Ridge Road extension

NEW PORT RICHEY — Commissioners on Tuesday approved buying a 500-acre parcel near the Starkey Wilderness Preserve that could be used to offset wetland damage from the future extension of Ridge Road.

The so-called Crockett Lake property is near the planned route of the road, which has been awaiting a federal permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for more than a decade.

Part of the old Crockett Lake Ranch, the land sits just north of the proposed Ridge Road extension between the Woodland Hills subdivision in Moon Lake and the Serenova preserve.

The parcel currently has three owners: Deb Limited Partnership, NG Development Corp., and Cone and Graham Inc.

The county will buy the land for just more than $6 million, using road money set aside for land acquisition.

The tract would be added to 220 acres of swampland near the River Ridge subdivision to mitigate the county's portion of 59 acres of wetlands that would be damaged or destroyed by the road extension.

The 8-mile road would connect the heavily populated west side of the county with the Suncoast Parkway and eventually to U.S. 41 at Connerton. The heart of environmentalists' concerns is that it would cut through the middle of the 6,000-acre Serenova preserve, just north of Starkey park.

Keith Wiley, the director of the county's environmental lands program, said the property could also be used for a wetlands mitigation bank if it isn't used for the Ridge Road project. About 200 acres on the site could be used as habitat for the endangered gopher tortoise.

Commissioner Ted Schrader said the county got a good deal for the land. "This piece of property, a number of years ago, you probably couldn't touch it for this price," he said.

Lee Logan can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 869-6236.

Pasco commissioners buy 500-acre preserve to mitigate future Ridge Road extension 06/19/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 8:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Police plan community meeting as search for Seminole Heights killer continues


    TAMPA — With people in Seminole Heights on edge following three related shooting deaths on their streets, police have planned a community meeting for Monday.

    The three Seminole Heights victims, from left: Benjamin Edward Mitchell, 22; Monica Caridad Hoffa, 32; and Anthony Naiboa, 20. [Facebook, family photos]
  2. Bucs-Bills: Tampa Bay's fatal habit of falling behind


    TAMPA — Okay, all you road scholars, why do the Bucs keep falling behind in games not played at Raymond James Stadium?

    Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) recovers a fumble during the first half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
  3. Hudson man, 19, killed by hit-and-run driver while walking in street, FHP says


    A 19-year-old Hudson man walking in the street Friday night was struck and killed by a pickup truck that fled the scene, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

  4. Road Ranger hurt after truck catches fire in crash at I-275, Busch


    TAMPA — A Road Ranger was seriously injured when a drunk driver ran into the back of his truck on Interstate 275 and both vehicles burst into flame, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

    Brian Nelson Barrett, 42, of Wimauma, was headed north on I-275 in his Road Ranger truck Saturday morning 10/21/17 when a car hit him from behind, causing both vehicles to erupt in flames.
  5. Nicked-up Lightning vs. Penguins tonight