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 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. Bucs journal: Kicker Nick Folk has up and downs against Jaguars


    JACKSONVILLE — If the Bucs had hoped for a drama-free night in their kicking game, they'll have to wait another week.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk celebrates one of his two made field goals against the Jaguars, but he also misses a field goal and has an extra point blocked.
  2. Late night update: Second wave follows Tropical Storm Harvey


    UPDATE: At 11 p.m. the National Hurricane Center said a hurricane hunter plane had determined that Tropical Storm Harvey had formed with sustained winds of 40 mph.

    Three tropical waves are expected to strengthen as they move across the Atlantic Ocean. [Courtesy of the National Hurricane Center]
  3. Stealth anti-Jack Latvala group tied to Adam Putnam campaign


    Politico reports:

     A longtime political consultant for Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam is behind a website calling one of his rivals in the race, state Sen. Jack Latvala, a “liberal.”

  4. Council gives in to pension dispute with St. Pete firefighters

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council was forced to consider its first labor dispute in years Thursday when it gave the firefighters union most of the pension enhancements it has long asked for.

    The firefighters’ union won a pension victory at Thursday’s City Council meeting. [SCOTT KEELER    |      TIMES]
  5. Bucs top Jaguars behind strong first half



    There is a reason why the air in Tampa Bay is filled with playoff talk. If Thursday night's 12-8 Bucs preseason win over the Jaguars is any indication, it's also going to be filled with footballs thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Doug Martin gets the Bucs’ only touchdown  on a 2-yard run, squeaking past linebacker Telvin Smith in the first quarter. He has five carries for 30 yards.