Friday, January 19, 2018
News Roundup

Hernando planners say church, site near airport not a good fit

BROOKSVILLE — When it comes to incompatible land uses, plans for mines, landfills, motocross tracks and gun ranges almost always will draw opposition.

Churches are usually a different case.

But on Wednesday, Hernando County's planning staff will recommend that the Planning and Zoning Commission reject a special exception use permit for a place of worship for the growing Spring Hill-based Crosspoint Church.

Church leaders want to purchase a nearly 16-acre parcel at the corner of Anderson Snow Road and Corporate Boulevard and build a church for their 1,000 regular members. They say they might later include a school, a day care center and other programs.

County planners say the church would be incompatible with the neighbors, inconsistent with the county's comprehensive plan and would be harmful to future economic development opportunities in Hernando.

That's because the parcel is zoned industrial and is adjacent to Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport.

In the church's application for the permit, Crosspoint Pastor Paul Castelli makes a plea for approval.

"I know that industrial acreage is important to our county's economic plans, but so is spiritual development and ministry to our Hernando County families," he wrote.

Formed seven years ago with just a dozen members, Crosspoint now conducts services at Challenger K-8 School of Science and Mathematics in Spring Hill.

"We feel it is vital to our future to be able to purchase land and build a church campus so we can effectively continue our mission," Castelli wrote.

The plan is to build a 50,000-square-foot church with a 1,600-seat sanctuary.

In its review of the proposal, the county's Office of Business Development notes that one of the key factors in attracting industry to the area is "available land/facilities and workforce. Without those, companies will eliminate communities from their selection process."

Utilizing industrial areas for other uses "may have a negative downstream effect, hindering growth as well as the ability to recruit future industry," the staff report states.

The airport director stated that the public assembly use "would be inconsistent with the current and future business plans for the airport, technology center and surrounding properties. Such a change may affect the airport's ability for growth of aviation and industrial use as planned.''

Planners go on to say that land such as this parcel in the Airport Planned Development District is intended to "maximize the use of the Hernando County airport and surrounding lands for aviation, aviation-related activities, industrial uses and other land uses compatible with the airport."

Comments
Cuts hit top school leaders as Hillsborough sheds three six-figure salaries

Cuts hit top school leaders as Hillsborough sheds three six-figure salaries

TAMPA — Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins on Friday announced the first in a series of belt-tightening moves that include the elimination of three six-figure positions.Jobs now held by Wynne Tye and Larry Sykes will no longer exis...
Updated: 5 minutes ago
That noise you hear from MacDill is low-flying A-10 Warthogs in training

That noise you hear from MacDill is low-flying A-10 Warthogs in training

TAMPA — If you hear loud noises coming from MacDill Air Force Base over the next few days, don’t be alarmed.It’s the sound of flying Hogs.A squadron of A-10C Warthogs, beloved by troops in the field for their ability to swoop low and slow and tear ap...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Autopsy: MLB star Roy Halladay died from blunt force trauma, drowning in plane crash

Autopsy: MLB star Roy Halladay died from blunt force trauma, drowning in plane crash

Former Major League Baseball pitcher Roy Halladay died from blunt force trauma with drowning as a contributing factor when he crashed his personal plane into the water off New Port Richey in November, according to an autopsy report released Friday.Ha...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Tampa man gets five life sentences for killing three with assault rifle

Tampa man gets five life sentences for killing three with assault rifle

TAMPA — One early morning three years ago, Angel Luis Perez burst through the back door of an east Tampa home and fired an AK-47 assault rifle into two people as they lie in their bed.A 3-year-old boy witnessed the murders.Perez, high on cocaine, gra...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Column: Keep children out of the adult prison system

Column: Keep children out of the adult prison system

The city of St. Petersburg is taking a stand for Florida children in hopes of changing our state’s affinity for prosecuting children in the adult criminal justice system — something we do more than any other state.In the 6th Judicial Circuit — coveri...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Proposed monument near St. Pete pier would honor Tony Jannus history-making flight

Proposed monument near St. Pete pier would honor Tony Jannus history-making flight

ST. PETERSBURG — Tony Jannus’s history-making flight in an early seaplane — simultaneously as ungainly and graceful as a pelican on the wing — is what Mayor Rick Kriseman calls an "under-told and under-appreciated" story, but a team of local history ...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
In tree-loving Davis Islands, residents bring new life to where a grand oak fell

In tree-loving Davis Islands, residents bring new life to where a grand oak fell

TAMPA — The people of Davis Islands lost a dear friend to Hurricane Irma in September — a grand oak tree that had resided at the Suwanee Circle median for as long as many residents could remember.To commemorate Florida’s celebration of Arbor Day on F...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
Romano: If UCF is national champion, then I’m a Hollywood stud

Romano: If UCF is national champion, then I’m a Hollywood stud

The late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said people were entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.Clearly, Moynihan never dealt with Florida legislators.Because around Tallahassee, facts are fungible. They aren’t just up for ...
Updated: 27 minutes ago

Want to buy into an exchanged-traded bitcoin fund? You might have a long wait

NEW YORK — It may be a while, if ever, before investors can buy an exchange-traded fund made up of bitcoin and other digital currencies. Federal regulators have a long list of questions they want answered before they’ll approve a digital currency fun...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Child psychologist weighs in on mom who charges 5-year-old ‘rent’

Child psychologist weighs in on mom who charges 5-year-old ‘rent’

A Georgia mother is going viral for charging her 5-year-old "rent." Yup — the kid pays up for food, water, cable and electric, too.Essense Evans described in a Facebook post how she handles her daughter’s allowance. The post, written on Saturday, was...
Updated: 1 hour ago