New Port Richey, Florida

Profiled 5-6-24

The City of New Port Richey, Florida, population 16,728 (2020) is located in Pasco County 30 miles northwest of Tampa, Florida. Portions of the city’s western boundary are formed by inlets and marinas on the Gulf of Mexico. The city is bisected by the Pithlachascotee River. 

According to the city’s 2016 Coastal Management Element, Pasco County’s Environmental Lands Acquisition Program shows environmental systems corridors connecting the drainage courses of the Pithlachascotee River and the Gulf of Mexico. Approximately 153 acres of vacant land in the coastal area are designated for residential use. The element establishes a TDR program in which sending areas with the Coastal High Hazard Area (CHHA) can transfer development rights to receiving sites in the CHHA in order to achieve the following objectives:

  • Assist in the redevelopment of the CHHA;
  • Protect environmentally sensitive lands within the CHHA;
  • Distribute residential entitlements allocated by the FLUM to achieve the requirements of Rule 9J-5012 of the Florida Administrative Code; and 
  • Distribute residential entitlements allocated by the FLUM to achieve the growth management goals of the city.

The element adds that the TDR program aims to remove impediments to redevelop blighted areas (e.g. the US 109 corridor) and reduce pressure to develop environmentally sensitive lands. Policy CME 2.2.2 also commits the city to implementing a program to acquire and manage land in the CHHA for recreation, conservation, and preservation. 

In 2023, the city adopted a revised version of Chapter 20 of its Zoning Code that implements the TDR provisions of the 2016 Coastal Management Element. 

The element states that the sending sites are parcels owned by the city in the CHHA. But Zoning Code Chapter 20 suggests that sending sites might also be in private ownership, in which case covenants, deed restrictions, or conservation easements must be recorded evidencing the severance of the development rights. If the sending site is owned by the city, a covenant, deed restriction, or conservation easement is not needed. In either case, the city approves a Future Land Use Amendment to conservation, preservation, or public facility and the severed rights are transferred to the city entitlement bank. The city holds the development rights from these properties in the entitlement bank and sells them at prices deemed reasonable by the city council. Revenue from the sale of TDRs must be used “… for acquisition of land for private redevelopment purposes and to implement the intent of this section.”  

Sites capable of receiving TDRs are mapped. The owners of these sites apply for a rezoning to Planned Development District (PDD). A Future Land Use Map Amendment is also needed if the receiving site has a previous non-residential designation or if approval of the PDD would increase the residential density of the prior FLUM designation. The number of credits transferred is the maximum number of units allowed on the sending site by FLUM and zoning.