Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando site okayed for bed-and-breakfast

BROOKSVILLE — Neighbors of the nearly 3-acre tract on Sunshine Grove Road have come to expect the swarm of recreational vehicles and bluegrass music fans every year around Valentine's Day.

Called a "hootenanny'' by the locals, the event drew dozens of folks for the "pickin' and grinnin','' said neighbor Deborah Murphy.

Problem was, the impromptu RV park had never been approved by Hernando County and it likely never would have been because of its inadequate size.

Now, the site will be shifting focus. The Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday unanimously approved the property south of Harrison Street and across from Spring Ridge to be used as a bed-and-breakfast.

Part of the deal accepted is that the new owner will remove more than two dozen RV hookups on the site.

Representing Charles I. Hogg, Alan Garman of Civil-Tech Consulting Engineers explained that the previous owners had bluegrass musicians visiting in the winter. While the 3,600-square-foot house has only two bedrooms, it has a commercial-quality kitchen.

The new owner sought a conditional use permit to allow as many as four guest rooms. Garman said he didn't believe that a bed-and-breakfast that size would impact the neighborhood.

Murphy worried that a bed-and-breakfast next door would threaten her right to keep pigs and chickens. "Pigs do smell and chickens make noise early in the morning,'' she said.

The board limited the addition to four guest rooms, required improvements to the Sunshine Grove Road entrance, and insisted on an inspection of the two large septic tanks that had been used to drain the tanks on the recreational vehicles.

During the meeting, commission members shifted gears and talked about themselves; specifically, a possible change in the way the county handles zoning and land use recommendations.

At the direction of the County Commission, county staffers have been looking into whether Hernando should do away with the volunteer planning board and instead hire a hearing officer to make recommendations to the County Commission.

In a report scheduled to go to the County Commission on Wednesday, the staff concludes that using a hearing officer can mean fewer delays and more reviews, more accountability because that person can be fired and a hearing by a neutral, outside professional.

The major drawbacks are the increased costs involved with hiring a professional to replace the volunteers, and losing the perspective of ordinary citizens serving on the board.

"I think this is political by the Board of County Commissioners,'' said chairwoman Anna Liisa Covell. "It all started out with politics as usual. Let's hope it doesn't end with politics as usual.''

Having a planning and zoning commission takes the politics out of the decisionmaking process, she argued. A hired hearing officer "is going to dance to the master,'' Covell said.

"It sounds like some counties out there could save a great deal if they went to an all-volunteer board,'' said member Lisa Hammond.

In other business:

• The P&Z unanimously recommended denying an 86-unit apartment complex with a day care center on a 5.5-acre lot on Cortez Boulevard at La Pine Road by Brooke Hill LLC. County staff had recommended denial based on several factors. Commission members said they thought the intense density was "premature'' for the area. Petitioner Anthony Jacobs argued that no one had a crystal ball and he thought the project fit the area.

• In a 3-2 vote, the board recommended denying rezoning for expansion of marina space on Hernando Beach at the north end of Calienta Street adjacent to the public boat ramp. The petitioner for Gulf Coast Marina, Richard and Monzellia Smith, wanted to add dry storage for 100 to 125 boats. Neighbors and commissioners questioned added congestion and appropriate buffering.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at or (352) 848-1434.

Hernando site okayed for bed-and-breakfast 08/11/08 [Last modified: Monday, August 11, 2008 6:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lanes closed after pedestrian fatally struck by semi-tractor on U.S. 19 in Clearwater


    CLEARWATER — Southbound lanes on U.S. 19 were closed early Wednesday morning after a pedestrian was fatally struck by a semi-trailer.

  2. Manhattan Casino controversy resumes after taking a break for Irma

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman's administration has once again found itself defending its controversial choice of the Callaloo Group to open a "Floribbean" restaurant in the historic but currently empty Manhattan Casino.

  3. At Menorah Manor, planning paid off during Irma

    Nursing Homes

    ST. PETERSBURG — Doris Rosenblatt and her husband, Frank, have lived in Florida all of their lives, so they know about hurricanes.

    Raisa Collins, 9, far left, works on a craft project as Certified Nursing Assistant Shuntal Anthony holds Cassidy Merrill, 1, while pouring glue for Quanniyah Brownlee, 9, right, at Menorah Manor in St. Petersburg on Sept. 15. To help keep its patients safe during Hurricane Irma, Menorah Manor allowed employees to shelter their families and pets at the nursing home and also offered daycare through the week. The facility was able to accommodate and feed everyone who weathered the storm there. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  4. Carlton: The cross atop the church that moved, and other strange tales from Hurricane Irma


    Down in Miami, the famous tan-don't-burn Coppertone Girl on the side of a building lost her head — part of it, at least, the top of her blond hair lopped off in the fierce winds of Hurricane Irma. ("At least her tan line and doggie weathered the storm," the Miami Herald noted optimistically.)

    Hurricane Irma partly decapitated the Coppertone Girl in Miami. [Miami Herald]