Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Despite protests, Hernando planning commission gives thumbs-up to two requests

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Planning and Zoning Commission members listened Monday as dozens of residents argued against two very different land-use requests.

In the end, the commission voted to recommend approval of a new centralized water plant on a 17.6-acre parcel in Ridge Manor West, adjacent to Sherman Hills, and granted a conditional use permit allowing limited dog agility events on property along Hayman Road, west of Deepwell Drive, south of Brooksville.

Hundreds of east Hernando residents signed petitions against turning the Ridge Manor West parcel into a regional well field and water treatment facility. County Utilities Department officials say that by centralizing wells and water treatment, they can provide service more efficiently.

In November, the County Commission agreed to pay $470,000 to purchase the land from Lee Pallardy Inc. Profit Sharing and 401K Plan, contingent upon a rezoning approval. The current zoning allows construction of 244 duplex and multifamily residential units.

Residents made it clear they wanted no part of a water plant and the two 2 million-gallon storage tanks, nine wells and a building planned for the site.

They said they worried about sinkholes from pumping additional water, threats from chemicals trucked into and stored at the site, and the negative impact such a facility would have on their property values.

With so much undeveloped land in east Hernando, resident Dorene McAndrews said, "there is no reason they had to put this on top of a subdivision.''

Planning commission members voted 3-1 to recommend approval to the County Commission, which will take up the issue next month. Panel member John Scharch voted no, saying the need for the increase in capacity had not been demonstrated by the Utilities Department.

In the other case, Bonnie McDonald sought a conditional use permit to allow her to continue to put on periodic, multiday dog athletic and agility trials at her 21-acre Sonlight Ranch and have some participants park their recreational vehicles on the property.

A dog trainer since the 1970s, McDonald acknowledged surprise when she saw a number of her neighbors file up to the microphone to complain about barking dogs, loudspeakers, gunshots and whistles interrupting the peaceful agricultural neighborhood.

"To me it sounds more like a rally,'' neighbor Sandra Harris said of the events that have already taken place on the property.

McDonald assured the neighbors that there was no gunfire during the dog training and trials, and that she and her family want to be on good terms with them.

Planning commission member Thomas Comunale urged her to meet with the neighbors and answer their concerns. In granting the permit, the commission limited McDonald to 10 events a year and no more than six recreational vehicles on-site at each event.

Despite protests, Hernando planning commission gives thumbs-up to two requests 02/10/14 [Last modified: Monday, February 10, 2014 9:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Salvador Dali's body will soon be exhumed in paternity suit


    FIGUERES, Spain — Salvador Dali's eccentric artistic and personal history took yet another bizarre turn Thursday with the exhumation of his embalmed remains in order to find genetic samples that could settle whether one of the founding figures of surrealism fathered a girl decades ago.

    Pilar Abel, poses for a photograph after a news conference in Madrid, where she claimed to be the daughter of eccentric artist Salvador Dali.  After two decades of court battles, a Madrid judge granted Abel a DNA test to find out whether her allegations are true, and the exhumation is scheduled to begin Thursday night. [Associated Press]
  2. Spring Hill couple arrested on drug charges after months-long investigation


    SPRING HILL — A Spring Hill couple was arrested Wednesday on several drug charges after a months-long investigation by the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

    Hernando County Sheriff's Office detectives stand behind 24 pounds of marijuana seized by the agency during a drug bust this week. [Photo by Megan Reeves]
  3. New Pinellas Trail stretch draws raves at opening

    Human Interest

    EAST LAKE — Mike Siebel bikes the Pinellas Trail four days a week and loops up and down the Suncoast Trail at least a couple times every year. A 68-year-old cycling diehard, he was so eager for the opening of the 5-mile segment extending the Pinellas Trail to the Pasco border that he would often drive across …

    Cyclists wait for the official opening of the Pinellas Trail's newest segment. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
  4. Authorities recover body of missing boater in Lake Thonotosassa


    THONOTOSASSA — Authorities on Thursday recovered the body of a 44-year-old Plantation man who went missing while boating on Lake Thonotosassa.

  5. Chester Bennington, Linkin Park singer, dies by suicide at 41: Report


    Chester Bennington, the flame-throated singer of enormosly popular metal band Linkin Park, has reportedly committed suicide at age 41.

    Chester Bennington and Linkin Park last performed in Tampa at Steinbrenner Field in 2014.