Monday, September 24, 2018
News Roundup

Hernando prepares for final public input on comprehensive plan

BROOKSVILLE — County commissioners on Tuesday will gather what was to be the last round of public comment on what the future of Hernando County will look like between now and 2040, before sending the county’s comprehensive plan to the state for review.

For more than a year, county planners and members of the public interested in helping have worked to form the blueprint for future growth. The draft has gone through several incarnations, with the first based largely on the planning staff’s updates and modernizing. This is the first major plan rewrite in 27 years.

On Tuesday, commissioners decided to prolong the process a bit longer. They still will hold their public hearing next week, but they want to continue that hearing until January to allow discussion of the future land-use map, which is related to the plan. Then, they will send the comprehensive plan to Tallahassee for review by the Department of Economic Opportunity.

Business leaders have been pushing for map updates to be considered as soon as possible, but several commissioners said they had not yet seen specific proposals, which could change land use designations in parts of the county. Several commissioners said setting the January deadline might prompt those who want changes to release them in detail.

The plan already has been divisive.

Once the draft plan was made public, residents and the County Commission urged changes that would make requirements that were previously mandated instead suggested. They also would cut some sections regarding wildlife corridors and other environmental protections, including previous wording about environmentally sensitive lands, would push for more protection of property rights and expand the economic development element of the plan.

Those suggestions brought strong push back from others who wanted protections for the environment, smart-growth initiatives, green building, drinking water and energy conservation, among other issues. They also sought bans on fracking for oil exploration and the expansion of mining land.

The two sides grappled over whether the revisions made for a better plan or a weaker plan.

Commissioners have stuck with the argument that the plan is a compromise and that no one is happy with everything proposed within it. When the county Planning and Zoning Commission held its public hearing on transmission of the plan last month, it voted to recommend the version previously approved by the County Commission.

One significant change in the current draft includes increasing allowed residential densities from the current 16 units per acre to 22 units per acre county wide. The county’s population is projected to increase from the April estimate of 181,878 to 236,200 by 2040.

After the state review, the County Commission will take up the plan one more time for final approval. The original target date was March, but that likely will be extended.

Contact Barbara Behrendt at [email protected] or (352) 848-1434.

Comments
Firefighters respond to blaze in Lakewood High School gymnasium

Firefighters respond to blaze in Lakewood High School gymnasium

St. Petersburg firefighters responded to fire early Monday morning in the gymnasium at Lakewood High School.Students arriving for classes by bus were being rerouted to a drop-off point at the west end of the school on 16th Street, according to a mess...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Drive for January: A look at how the top Group of 5 teams fared

Drive for January: A look at how the top Group of 5 teams fared

For the first time this season, we're examining how USF stacks up in comparison to the other serious Group of Five contenders for the New Year's Six bowl berth.The Group of Five conference champion ranked highest by the College Football Playoff commi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Port Tampa Bay marks 1 million cruise passengers in a year for the first time ever

Port Tampa Bay marks 1 million cruise passengers in a year for the first time ever

TAMPA — Port Tampa Bay last week welcomed its 1-millionth cruise ship passenger for the first time ever in a single year.The port hit the milestone on Sept. 17, when the count hit 1,000,524 for this fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30. It rose furthe...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Daystarter: Building a wall against Red Tide; PolitiFact on a proposed $1 billion tax hike; Dungy goes into Ring of Honor

The Daystarter: Building a wall against Red Tide; PolitiFact on a proposed $1 billion tax hike; Dungy goes into Ring of Honor

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• We’ll have scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms, according to the National Weather Service. Highs today will be in the lower 90s.• As you head out for your morning commute, c...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hillsborough deputy fatally shoots wife, turns gun on himself with children in home

Hillsborough deputy fatally shoots wife, turns gun on himself with children in home

LAND O'LAKES -- A Hillsborough County deputy fatally shot his wife early Monday morning before turning the gun on himself in an apparent murder-suicide, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.In an early-morning news conference, Pasco County ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
PolitiFact Florida: $1 billion Florida tax hike? Andrew Gillum proposes increasing state corporate tax

PolitiFact Florida: $1 billion Florida tax hike? Andrew Gillum proposes increasing state corporate tax

A TV attack ad portrays Florida Democrat Andrew Gillum as so "far out" that he is on another planet."Gillum wants to increase Florida taxes by a billion dollars. Disaster for the economy," says an ad by the Republican Governors Association showing Gi...
Published: 09/24/18

Hooper: Don’t trade progress for pennies. Reject Amendment 1

A lot of Tampa Bay city and county elected officials should be sounding the alarm about Amendment 1.The amendment, one of 12 voters will find on the November ballot, increases the maximum homestead exemption from $50,000 to $75,000, but the devil is ...
Published: 09/24/18
The ‘Murphy Brown’ revival is re-entering a very different TV space. Can it succeed?

The ‘Murphy Brown’ revival is re-entering a very different TV space. Can it succeed?

In one of the first episodes of the rebooted Murphy Brown, the show’s title character, back at it after all these years, faces a quandary.Murphy, a celebrity TV journalist, is being pushed by network executives to conduct an interview. It’s a chance ...
Published: 09/24/18

Hernando Briefs for Sept. 28

COUNTYWIDEVolunteer for art council vacanciesHernando County Commissioners are accepting applications from individuals wishing to serve on the Fine Arts Council. The purpose of the council it to promote the arts and support groups associated with the...
Published: 09/24/18
Hillsborough asking why rescue captain stayed back as patient’s friends performed CPR

Hillsborough asking why rescue captain stayed back as patient’s friends performed CPR

TAMPA — It was almost 4 a.m. when the man’s friends found him unconscious in a Riverview home and called 911.His breath was shallow and he was turning blue. With the 911 call-taker giving instructions, his friends performed CPR and waited.Ten minutes...
Published: 09/24/18