Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Scaled-down housing plan wins approval in Brooksville

BROOKSVILLE — County commissioners signed off this week on a significantly scaled-down housing project planned for Emerson Road near Moton Elementary School and the Hernando Christian Academy.

Commissioners approved a zoning change for a 50-acre parcel on the east side of Emerson Road that will allow a development with 134 townhouses on the northern 30 acres and 16 single-family homes on the southern 20 acres.

The approved plan is a big difference from applicant Rhema LLC's original September 2007 proposal. At that time, the project proposed a total of 372 housing units in four-story buildings, two-story townhomes and 16 single-family homes.

Since then, the applicant had scaled back plans several times to answer concerns by staff and the Planning and Zoning Commission that the development was too dense for the area and that it encroached on a floodplain area of the property.

Wednesday, the applicant was still seeking approval of 200 units even though the Planning and Zoning Commission and county staff would recommend only 150, or three units per acre.

Darryl Johnston, the attorney representing Rhema, argued that the county applied the wrong standard of density in pushing for the three rather than four units per acre. He said the project as envisioned would have plenty of buffering and a good transition from the more densely developed area north of the site to the more rural area south.

"It's low-density,'' Johnston said. "It meets every criteria.''

He also argued that the project would provide good workforce housing. "That's what we need here,'' he said.

Other ideas

Commissioner Diane Rowden said that the workforce housing argument didn't work for her. She said that the area has plenty of housing for the work force these days.

She was more concerned about the effect the proposal would have on two-lane Emerson Road, where two schools are.

Doug Davis had different concerns. He was worried that the development would harm any efforts to make the adjacent Chocachatti Prairie into a tourist destination. Davis, a historian from Brooksville, said the site could become a "Busch Gardens with an Indian flavor,'' to celebrate its significance as the birthplace of the Seminole Nation.

Johnston said he supported the concept of ecotourism but that the property didn't lend itself to that because of the county's comprehensive plan.

County Commissioner Dave Russell said he would like to see people going back to work and if this project was going to go ahead full steam, he was ready to boost the density of townhomes to 184 to bring the total number of units to 200. But only Commissioner Rose Rocco agreed with him.

Commission Chairman Chris Kingsley said the project would move forward at the same pace regardless of the number of units and he was not in favor of the higher density.

Commissioner Jeff Stabins then made a motion to go with the lower unit number recommended by the Planning and Zoning Commission and the motion passed 4-1, with Rowden casting the sole no vote.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at behrendt@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1434.

Scaled-down housing plan wins approval in Brooksville 03/13/08 [Last modified: Friday, March 14, 2008 1:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Data breach exposes 469 Social Security numbers

    Corporate

    Social Security numbers for up to 469 people were exposed in a data breach at Florida the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The breach, which the agency believes happened about two weeks ago, occurred in an online payments system, spokesperson Jenn Meale said Monday.

    Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam on Monday that nearly 500 people may have had their Social Security numbers obtained in a data breach in his office.
[Times file photo]

  2. Trigaux: Can Duke Energy Florida's new chief grow a business when customers use less power?

    Energy

    Let's hope Harry Sideris has a bit of Harry Houdini in him.

    Duke Energy Florida president Harry Sideris laid out his prioriities for the power company ranging from improved customer service to the use of more large-scale solar farms to provide electricity. And he acknowledged a critical challenge: People are using less electricity these days. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  3. Editorial: Preserve wild Florida before it's too late

    Editorials

    The last dairy farm in Hillsborough County has milked its final cow, the pastures sold to developers who will build 1,000 new homes. The remnants of the last commercial citrus grove in Pinellas County, where the Sunshine State's famed industry began in the 19th century, were sold last year to make room for 136 homes. …

    As dairy farms and citrus groves disappear, much more needs to be done to avoid paving over Florida’s wild spaces.
  4. Florida concealed weapons permit holders exposed in computer hack

    Blogs

    More than 16,000 concealed weapons permit holders in Florida may have had their names accidently made public because of a data breach at the The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

  5. Editorial: Careless words unfit for a mayor

    Editorials

    Even his critics marvel at how well Bob Buckhorn has grown into the job since first being elected as Tampa's mayor in 2011. His grace in public and his knack for saying and doing the right things has reflected well on the city and bestowed civic pride in the mayor's office. That's why Buckhorn's cheap shot at the media …

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn fires a .50 caliber machine gun from a rigid hull inflatable boat during a Special Operations Capabilities Demonstration at the Tampa Convention Center last year. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]