Age-restricted facility recommended by Hernando County zoning board

BROOKSVILLE — Plans for age-restricted facilities near the entrance to the High Point subdivision passed a hurdle on Monday.

The Planning and Zoning Commission backed the project, which calls for multifamily units and a retirement congregate care facility on a 28-acre parcel on Cortez Boulevard west of Weeping Willow Street.

The board voted unanimously to recommend that the County Commission approve the zoning change for applicant Gary Blackwell.

In 2004, the County Commission rejected a similar project planned for the property, which had direct access into High Point. The new plan shows a reverse frontage road and no direct road into High Point.

Blackwell had met with representatives of the community. No one spoke in opposition of the plan, but several residents asked county officials to make sure that it was clear that the use of the congregate care facility was restricted to 55 and older.

High Point resident Joseph Barkett said he has heard from neighbors that the same thing could happen on this parcel that happened on Cessna Drive in Spring Hill, where a congregate care facility was sold. The retired residents were moved and a drug rehabilitation center moved into the facility.

The County Commission today will take up a request by that center to expand.

Planning director Ron Pianta agreed that the term "congregate care'' facility is very broad. He suggested that the planning commission agree to add "retirement'' to the phrase "age-restricted congregate care'' provision in the rezoning, and planning commissioners accepted that change.

The project would include three out-parcels with 59,000 square feet of commercial space fronting on Cortez Boulevard. There would also be a so-called reverse frontage road, which would run parallel to Cortez but behind the commercial space. Between the frontage road and High Point, a multifamily area with two pods is planned.

One pod would be a three-story, 320-unit development with a special exception that could include a congregate care facility. The second would be a single-story 96-unit development. Both would be age restricted to 55 and older.

No direct driveways from the development will be allowed on Cortez Boulevard under the provisions set by the planning staff, and a traffic analysis will be required prior to the issuance of any permits.

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

Age-restricted facility recommended by Hernando County zoning board 06/08/09 [Last modified: Monday, June 8, 2009 8:02pm]

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