Tuesday, May 22, 2018
News Roundup

Hernando planning commission gives nod to Dollar General store in Ridge Manor

BROOKSVILLE — Plans for a new Dollar General store in Ridge Manor got a push forward Monday, despite concerns from apartment dwellers who will be displaced.

The store was one of several applications that sparked discussion before the Hernando County Planning and Zoning Commission.

Teramore Development LLC applied for a rezoning that would allow construction of a Dollar General store on 2 acres on the south side of Cortez Boulevard west of Treiman Boulevard. The site is in a commercial corridor, and a retail store at that location would be appropriate, applicant representative Todd Pressman told planning commission members.

But Aubrey Lopez, a resident of Ridge Manor Garden Apartments, located on the site, disagreed.

"We don't need another Dollar General store,'' Lopez said, pointing out that there are two other Dollar General stores just a few miles away. He said the apartment complex, where eight other tenants also live, is sturdy and that the apartments are available at a cost he and the others could afford.

Lopez noted that the tenants include an 80-year-old woman on government rent assistance, a retired veteran and a disabled woman.

"There are not that many low-income places to go in this area,'' he argued.

Pressman pointed out that, although the displacement of residents would be a difficult situation, it was outside the responsibilities of the planning commission. He and a representative of the developer said they would be sure that the landlord was urged to be in touch with his tenants to help out in whatever ways possible.

Planning commissioners agreed unanimously to recommend the rezoning to the County Commission.

• • •

In other action, a divided commission approved a special exception use permit to Charlotte Furey, allowing for the construction of a kennel on her 2 1/2-acre agricultural residential property at Orchard Way and Christine Lane in southern Spring Hill.

The kennel would be on land adjacent to the home she shares with David Hitchcock, where a garage currently is located. The facility would house up to 40 large dogs, 20 small dogs and 10 cats.

Next-door neighbor Stephen LaFrance had urged denial, citing concerns about his property value falling, increased traffic and barking dogs.

Planning Commission members John Scharch and Thomas Comunale voted against the permit.

"Seems to me that it could be quite noisy at times, given the number of animals,'' Scharch said.

Also gaining approval for a special exception use permit was an application for a place of public assembly and a substance abuse rehabilitation facility sought by the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States.

The facility, once used as a mental health facility by Baycare Behavioral Health, is on 9.6 acres off U.S. 98 north of Brooksville.

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