Pasco county residents participate in vision 2050 program

First Workshop to Update Pasco County’s 2050 Comprehensive Plan a Success

By Richard Riley Posted on May 23, 2023

Pasco County continues to be one of the fastest growing counties in Florida. Its comprehensive plan sets goals, objectives and policies that influence future planning decisions.

Pasco 2050 is a multi-year initiative to update the County’s Comprehensive Plan. This initiative will define Pasco County’s vision for the next 25 years and outlines the steps needed to get there.

Residents were invited to join the conversation and explore topics such as economic development, transportation, parks, natural resources, public infrastructure and how land is used, developed and / or conserved throughout Pasco County.

Fifty Residents attend first Workshop to Update Pasco’s 2050 Comprehensive Plan

A Thursday night meeting at Saint Leo University was the beginning of the public’s participation in developing the new 2050 Comprehensive Plan for Pasco County.  Inspire Placemaking are the consultants working with Pasco County planners on this updating of the several hundred page plan last developed 25 years ago.  Now this new plan, required by the state, will cover the next 25 years.

The full conference room was greeted by Pasco County staff and Chris Dougherty, Principal Planner for the consultants.  He gave a PowerPoint presentation on the growth and development of the county in the past and projections for the future.

Pasco county residents participate in vision 2050 program
The conference room in the Telco Building at Saint Leo University was filled with residents wanting to participate in the planning for the next 25 years of Pasco County. Image by Richard Riley.

It was pointed out that Pasco has had a growth of 63 percent in the past 20 years.  The median age of residents has dropped from 53 to 45 years old, and the diversity has increased slightly.

However, the GDP (created market value) of Pasco County is the lowest of the counties with over 500,000 population.  The largest employers in the county are Pasco Schools, Pasco Government, HCA Healthcare, State Government, and AdventHealth. 

Pete Quinn of Lexington Oaks, Wesley Chapel, enjoyed interacting with the rest of the audience as he used his cell phone to interact with a group survey. Image by Richard Riley

In the first group exercise, Dougherty led individual participation through the attendees’ cell phones to a live tally screen which recorded members’ opinions on the type of developments and their terms.

The final process was for individuals to go around to six stations in the conference room and indicate by dots where they live, where they want development and note what resources are available.  ChartPacks recorded peoples’ opinions and questions on the present and future plan.

discussing pasco 2050 comp plan
Anne Dammers, (right) discussed suggestions for the new Comprehensive Plan with consultant Gabby Castro. Dammers is a Pasco resident and volunteers at the Pioneer Museum as a “Teacher” docent. Image by Richard Riley.

Dougherty explained that this first meeting was seeking general directions, and not specific concerns such as the preservation of the Rural Protected Area or size of developments and buildings.  These would come later.

Terry Schrader, (left) Real Estate Broker of San Antonio talks with Pasco resident Lisa Moretti about the need for protecting the existing Rural Protected Area in Northeast Pasco County. Moretti is active in citizen rights and is a member of the NorthEast Pasco Concerned Citizens (NEPCC). NEPCC was very active in the development of the comp plan twenty years ago. Image by Richard Riley.

This was the first of three themed public meetings, duplicated both in St. Leo and on the west side of Pasco County.  The next public meeting will be the same as this one on June 5th 6-8pm at the J. Ben Harrill Recreation Complex, 2830 Gulf Trace Blvd, Holiday 34691.

The next two public meetings will be scheduled in June and July with a presentation to the Board of County Commissioners in October 2023.



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