Building permits OK'd for Cypress Creek

09/13/07 Seán Kinane
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Cypress Creek Town Center is a controversial development in wetlands near the headwaters of the Hillsborough River.

This afternoon in New Port Richey, the developers asked the Pasco County Development Review Committee (DRC) to issue a building permit for a 100-acre parcel. It was an unusual request because normally it is forbidden to issue building permits prior to final plat approval. A plat is a type of blueprint for the construction site.

Despite public testimony by two citizens asking the DRC not to allow the rules to be waived, the DRC voted late this afternoon to issue a building permit for the project.

An editorial in today’s Tampa Tribune criticized the development because a three-quarter acre of wetland has already been destroyed and there have been “unauthorized discharge of sediments and turbid water have gone into the creek, a main tributary of the Hillsborough River, a the source of most of Tampa’s drinking water.”

Georgeanne Ratliff represented the developer before the DRC and said the delay in plat approval was because of pond swaps and that the opening of the mall should not be delayed.

But the Sierra Club’s Denise Layne was not impressed.

Layne said the Sierra Club is likely to file a federal lawsuit regarding the development within the next few weeks.

Layne said her group also would appeal today’s decision.

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