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The Future of Tampa Bay
Pasco is Tampa Bay's Hat Trick
From the Pasco Economic Development Council:

Future of the Region Awards honors Pasco County with the One Bay award for 3rd time

Where is the future of Tampa Bay? According to the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, it is Pasco County. Pasco swept the Future of the Region Awards winning the One Bay award for the third time.

The One Bay Regional Vision Award is the top award and effectively elevates the County to an elite status among Tampa Bay communities. The One Bay award has drawn upon thousands of citizens to create a shared regional vision to plan where future population and employment growth should occur based upon responsible land use, mobility, economic and environmental sustainability.

Also, for the first time in the history of the 22-year awards program, Pasco County was  honored with winning both The One Bay Award and The Charles A. McIntosh, Jr. Award of Distinction, for The Harbors, West Market Redevelopment/Infill Plan. These are the two highest awards handed out each year.

To read the full story, visit http://www.pascoedc.com/blog/ 
 


Pasco County Makes Permitting a Piece of Cake
Larry Daly, a local contractor and a long-time critic of Pasco County’s building permit process, is in a state of “shock and awe” after recently using the County’s new “Walk-Through Permitting” system. A permit that had routinely taken him over two months to obtain was completed in an hour and thirty minutes. Daly can hardly believe it.

“Over the last ten years it’s been an absolute nightmare to come to Pasco County to get a permit,” said Daly, who is Managing Member of Construction Management Services in Port Richey. “It was not uncommon to take 2-4 months to get a standard permit for a tenant build-out. Imagine my reaction when I walked into the Permit Office at 9:15 in the morning and walked out at 10:45 with my permit. It was a jaw-dropping experience.”

Larry Daly, a year ago, hoped to get involved in making it easier for companies to do business in Pasco County. At the same time Pasco County began holding a Contractor’s Roundtable with local builders to fix some of the issues discouraging contractors from doing business in the County. Daly, who was once a tireless critic of the County Building Department, soon became a tireless participant in the Contractor’s Roundtable, along with Pasco EDC staff and several other contractors who decided to try to work with County staff to fix the system.

Tim Moore, Pasco County’s Chief Building Official, said the work of the Contractor’s Roundtable and his staff team helped make the following improvements:
Started a residential accessory walkthrough service in the New Port Richey Central Permitting office that has averaged over 60 customers per workday.
  • Established a walkthrough for small to medium commercial renovations, remodeling and permit revisions.
  • Instituted an application courier system between satellite offices and New Port Richey that has equaled and often exceeded permit turnaround time compared to when satellites were fully staffed.
  • Reduced residential permitting time from 30+ workdays to an average of 9 days including site and building plan review.
  • Cut rollovers of building inspections from 724 in February to only 13 in June and 16 in July.

Daly noted that the changes that have occurred are a direct result of Michele Baker’s leadership since taking over as Pasco County Administrator. “She has made an immediate difference; even the attitude of front line employees has dramatically changed,” he said.

“A change in the permitting process was needed to continue bringing business to Pasco County,” said John Hagen, Pasco EDC President/CEO. “The Urban Land Institute noted it in 2008, and the Pasco County Commissioners and the County Administrator took their counsel to heart. But Michele Baker and her staff have amped it up a level with these impressive new strides. We are continuing to work with Pasco County to streamline the process. Easy, fast permitting is just one more reason companies should look at doing business in Pasco County.”
Source: Pasco County Economic Development Council, Summer Martin

Pasco Sweeps "Future of the Region" Award
The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council (TBRPC) awarded Pasco County the coveted One Bay Award, effectively elevating the county to elite status among Tampa Bay communities.  TBRPC is the regional expert when it comes to land planning and development. This is the second year Pasco County was chosen for the OneBay award–and also only the second year the award has been in existence.

The award was given to Pasco County for innovatively becoming Florida’s first county to adopt the mobility fee as a replacement of transportation impact fees. The Pasco Economic Development Council partnered with the County to craft the program and gain support from the development community to help adopt the fee. The new fee schedule dramatically lowers the cost of office and industrial development in Pasco County.  For example, Pasco’s mobility fee for office, industrial and transit-oriented development along US-19 and S.R. 54/56 corridors is $0. The intent of the Commissioners’ action is to stimulate construction and job creation.

Also at the “Future of the Region Awards,” Pasco County took first place in the Development/Infrastructure category, again, for its mobility fee program, and first place in the Cultural/Sports/Recreation category for the Pasco County Starkey Wilderness Park Trail Project (Phases I through IV). An Honorable Mention was also given to Pasco County for its Elderly Nutrition Program.

“It was like sweeping the Grammys!  Pasco County won more awards than any organization,” said John Hagen, Pasco EDC President/CEO. “The mobility fee is truly innovative and puts Pasco County in a class by itself.  It provides a decided business advantage over other communities.  For office, hotel, and industrial users in the key development corridors along US 19 and SR 54/56, it’s free.  It is gratifying to see Pasco County receive the attention it deserves for its bold leadership to encourage job creation.”

TBRPC exemplifies the significance of innovative planning and provides honor and recognition for notable achievements in resource planning and management in the Tampa Bay Area.  Over 30 applications were received covering the following categories:  Community Service, Cultural/Sports/Recreation, Development/Infrastructure, Natural Resources/Environment, Going Green, and Public Education.  An Independent Awards Jury reviewed each entry on the following criteria:  regional quality of life benefit, benefit to environment, innovation, cost effectiveness, capacity for continuing impact, and regional benefit.



Top 10 reasons to be thankful in Pasco County

What do businesses and people have to be thankful for in Pasco County and Tampa Bay?

Here is our top 10 list of things to be thankful for in Pasco County. Please feel free to add additional ones in the comments below!

  1. We’re thankful for Room To Grow In Tampa Bay.
  2. We’re thankful to have lower taxes than almost anywhere!
  3. We’re thankful that Pasco County is only 20 minutes away from one of the USA’s most loved airports, Tampa International Airport.
  4. We’re thankful to be close to the largest seaport in Florida.
  5. We’re thankful to live in a rich eco-friendly environment near beaches, parks and fabulous kayaking in one of our many springs.
  6. We’re thankful to be connected to major interstates like I-75 so that our businesses can get the access they need to flourish.
  7. We’re thankful to have the No. 1 workforce board in Florida! Way to go CareerCentral.jobs!
  8. We’re thankful to have such great places to learn through our public schools, Saint Leo University, Pasco-Hernando Community College, Rasmussen College, the University of South Florida and so many more!
  9. We’re thankful to be in a county where government, businesses and citizens believe in economic development and have a great vision for the future of Pasco County.
  10. We are thankful that entrepreneurship is alive in Pasco County through the Pasco Enterprise Network.

What are you thankful for in Pasco County?

Read the full press release at Pasco Economic Development Council's blog.