Plan calls on developers to build parks
A proposed ordinance would require a 1 acre park for new communities with more than 25 homes. Big developments would require even more park land.

By SAUNDRA AMRHEIN, Times Staff Writer
Article Courtesy of the St. Petersburg Times
Published July 17, 2002 

DADE CITY -- In the ongoing battle for park space, the county hopes to gain some ammunition through a new ordinance that would set requirements for neighborhood parks. 

Though new subdivision developers often include neighborhood parks in their plans, the proposed ordinance would require it. 

A proposed ordinance would set minimum standards for new communities, including calling for 1 acre parks for every development of more than 25 residences. For every community with more than 100 residences, another one-hundredth of an acre of park space would be required. The developer or homeowners association would have to maintain the parks. 

The proposed ordinance was introduced Tuesday during the meeting of the County Commission at the Historic County Courthouse in Dade City. 

"This would solve a lot of problems," Commissioner Pat Mulieri said. "I think this is a great ordinance." 

The commission agreed to refer it to its citizens ordinance review committee before setting public hearings. 

In other business, the commission voted unanimously to pay for half a position to coordinate information with the Tourism Development Council. The position will likely cost about $45,000 to $50,000. 

The interest comes after tourism consultant Honey Rand switched focus from marketing to public relations. 

County Commissioner Pete Altman, the liaison to the tourism council, said members brought it up last week. He said the new position would be a good way to coordinate information on the county and its various activities and festivals. 

"It could be a nice marriage for us," Altman said. 

Also, the commission held the first of two public hearings on paving assessments. The commission plans to redo its method of charging for paving projects. It is considering paying for up to 25 percent of certain projects. 

Commissioners tossed around ideas on what types of projects would warrant the discount but won't make a final decision until the second hearing. 

The final hearing will be at 9:30 a.m. July 30 at the West Pasco Government Center in New Port Richey. 

Also, the commission agreed to grant a two-week delay before adopting changes to its cable ordinance in order to give companies more time to work with the county's consultant on disagreements. Time Warner Cable and Shaw Communications both plan to sell or transfer operations to other companies by the end of the year. They agreed Tuesday that any new contracts worked out with those companies would be subject to the county's updated, stricter ordinance. 

The hearing on the cable ordinance will be at 9:30 a.m. July 30 at the West Pasco Government Center in New Port Richey.