Sunday, January 21, 2018
News Roundup

Citations issues, permission revoked for Hernando mud bogging, music venue

BROOKSVILLE — From the beginning, Mike Barbee told Hernando County officials he wanted to cut through government red tape and move quickly to organize Mud on the Barbee, a mud bogging and music event and backdrop for a reality television show.

Now Barbee finds himself mired in a lot of tape.

This week, county officials issued four citations for work done without permits and revoked permission for the construction of a barn on the property of Thomas Malouf, north of Brooksville.

Last week, officials posted a stop-work order at the site where construction had begun on a stage and digging had started on a mud pit. On the event's Facebook page, Barbee posted pictures of the work and announced that the facilities would be ready to go by July 4.

Malouf now faces citations for failing to obtain a conditional use permit for a mud bogging site, failure to obtain a land-clearing permit, failure to obtain a floodplain permit prior to constructing a bridge and failure to obtain a permit for construction of the stage.

In addition, county building department field inspector Vic Heisler notified Malouf by letter that the exemption he was granted weeks ago for building a non-residential farm building has been revoked.

The Facebook page for Mud on the Barbee indicates the structure under construction is a stage, but a drawing Barbee submitted to the county in January 2013 "shows a 25-foot by 50-foot stage at the exact location of the previously exempted barn,'' Heisler wrote.

"This type of activity involves a use of the structure that has potential life-safety considerations and would require fully engineered building plans be submitted for review with application for a building permit,'' he wrote.

Heisler also noted that "the stop-work order that has been posted on the property remains in effect for all construction, clearing and excavation activities until all issues are resolved.''

Fines will be determined at a special master hearing scheduled for June 26.

Barbee told the Times that the structure is the beginning of a pole barn in which he intends to store hay. He has also said that he thought the county had granted him permission for two events. But when he asked the County Commission last year to speed up the governmental approval process, commissioners refused to grant him any shortcuts.

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