Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando planning commission okays return of property to agricultural use

BROOKSVILLE — In the midst of the housing boom, the owner of a 148-acre parcel just north of Brooksville proposed building 530 residential units, a small commercial area and all the amenities of upscale Florida living.

On Monday, the new owner proposed a far different project.

With the demand for new residential housing having fallen off in recent years, Thomas Malouf asked the Hernando County Planning and Zoning Commission to rezone the land at U.S. 98 and Yontz Road from planned development and commercial back to agricultural.

While the Planning Commission voted to recommend that the County Commission approve the application, there was some resistance.

Planning Commissioner Robert Widmar said he thought there was a better way to accomplish what Malouf wanted "without changing the underlying zoning ... rather than taking us back into the 1800s.''

Widmar suggested that the owner keep the existing zoning while seeking an agricultural exemption from the Property Appraiser's Office.

"I'm not trying to take you back at all,'' Malouf responded, noting that his property was some distance from the Brooksville city limits. "My desire is to farm and not to develop.''

Planning Commissioner Thomas Deutschle voiced concern about flipping back and forth between more and less intense zoning. But Commissioner Lisa Hammond said she supported the rezoning.

"Right now, this property is nonproductive,'' Hammond said. "It's not getting to be developed. It's not getting to be developed for the next 10, 15, 25 years. ... It's the right of this owner to do what he chooses to do with this property.''

The Planning Commission also acted on two other agriculture-related applications Monday.

In the case of Cambren Davis and Deirdre Rizzo Fox, the commission approved a special exception use permit to allow the retail sale of agricultural products and two festivals a year to promote growing olive trees on their Rester Drive property, west of Brooksville.

The commission also agreed to recommend rezoning land owned by Martin Paul Lunsford off Tombstone Street, near Ridge Manor, from residential to agricultural. Lunsford said he wanted to use a piece of his land to grow berries.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at behrendt@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1434.

Hernando planning commission okays return of property to agricultural use 09/12/11 [Last modified: Monday, September 12, 2011 10:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. James Wilder Jr. back at running back...in Canada

    Blogs

    Remember when former Plant High star and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. announced he was switching to linebacker?

    That was short-lived, apparently.

  2. Unlicensed contractor accused of faking death triggers policy change at Pinellas construction licensing board

    Local Government

    The unlicensed contractor accused of faking his death to avoid angry homeowners has triggered an immediate change in policy at the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board.

    Last year Glenn and Judith Holland said they paid a contractor thousands of dollars to renovate their future retirement home in Seminole. But when they tried to move in on Dec. 14, they said the home was in shambles and uninhabitable. They sent a text message to contractor Marc Anthony Perez at 12:36 p.m. looking for answers. Fourteen minutes later, they got back this text: "This is Marc's daughter, dad passed away on the 7th of December in a car accident. Sorry." Turns out Perez was still alive. Now the Hollands are suing him in Pinellas-Pasco circuit court. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  3. What you need to know for Tuesday, June 27

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Former St. Petersburg mayor and current mayoral candidate Rick Baker, left, and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman square off tonight in a debate. [Times]
  4. Once 'angry' about Obamacare, Republican David Jolly came to see it as 'safety net'

    Blogs

    Former Congressman David Jolly, who ran against Obamacare in 2013, said in an interview Monday night that he now considers it a "safety net."

  5. Five children hospitalized after chlorine release at Tampa pool store

    Accidents

    Five children were sickened at a pool store north of Tampa on Monday after a cloud of chlorine was released, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.