LAND O’ LAKES — Pasco County commissioners agreed to pay $1.88 million to settle a lawsuit with the owners of property on U.S. 41 and the future intersection with Ridge Road.
The 19-acre tract owned by Kathy and Daniel Jimison was under contract twice — in 2004 and again in 2007 — to sell to shopping center developer Primerica Group, but each time the sale fell through when commissioners refused to allow any commercial development on the land.
Assistant County Attorney Nicki Spirtos, in a memo to commissioners, explained that the site served as a critical wildlife corridor linking the Starkey Wilderness Preserve and the Connerton Preserve.
In 2009, the board approved its nomination to the county’s Environmental Lands Acquisition and Management Program, and an appraisal came back at $1.24 million.
“The Jimison parcel is the last, albeit, the most important acquisition to complete this portion of the corridor,” real estate appraiser Bob Tietz wrote.