BROOKSVILLE — A divided Hernando County Planning and Zoning Commission voted Monday to recommend a rezoning that would allow a building supplies sales operation to store its materials outside.
In April 2010, the County Commission approved the rezoning of 4.4 acres on Wiscon Road for James McLamb, permitting him to expand his building materials recycling business. The zoning category required him to keep all of his materials in buildings.
Since then, as the business has grown, McLamb has needed to store materials outside of the buildings. On Monday he sought a change in zoning to allow the outside storage to continue legally, said McLamb's representative, Buddy Selph.
Selph pitched the operation to planning commission members as a green business because McLamb acquires new and used building materials and equipment and resells it.
"This type of business saves local consumers money by offering a cheaper alternative to purchasing new material and equipment and directly benefits the environment by recycling used materials into the marketplace rather than disposing them into landfills,'' according to the application.
Next-door neighbor Theresa Lasanta complained about the noise, the late-night deliveries and the appearance of the business, which is just east of California Street on Wiscon. "The stuff is everywhere,'' she told planning commission members. She requested that the owner build a privacy fence.
Planning commissioners suggested that McLamb build the fence, and also work to become a better neighbor by moving some of the more objectionable activities away from Lasanta's property.
Selph said the owner has agreed to the fence and would work with the neighbors.
Planning commission members were divided in their opinions. Member Thomas Comunale said approval would mean that the commission was switching to a new zoning category to accommodate activity already taking place at the site.
Member Tom Deutschle asked whether the commission had made the right decision at the previous hearing. Perhaps, he said, the applicant's business model had changed. Ultimately, Comunale and Deutschle voted against a motion to recommend approval.
Commission members Robert Widmar, Lisa Hammond and Denis Riley voted in favor. The recommendation goes to the County Commission for a final decision.
Barbara Behrendt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1434.