Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando uses workshops to ask residents for input on key growth issues

BROOKSVILLE — As Hernando County's blueprint for growth is about to undergo its required seven-year checkup, planning officials are urging residents to get involved in the process.

Planning and Zoning Commission Chairwoman Lisa Hammond put it this way: "How many Quarry Preserves do you want? How many Hickory Hills, Lake Hideaways and Sunrises? How many developments in bankruptcy? How many Southern Hills?''

Voters in November will consider the controversial "Hometown Democracy" constitutional Amendment 4, designed to give ordinary citizens more of a say in how their community grows. Why not come out now and have that direct say? asked Robert Widmar, Planning and Zoning Commission member.

"This is one of the opportunities the public has already'' to set the plan for future growth, Widmar said.

At 5:30 p.m. Monday, the Planning and Zoning Commission will begin a series of public workshops at the County Commission chambers in Brooksville aimed at drawing citizens into the so-called evaluation and appraisal report preparation.

Counties are required to gauge the effectiveness of their comprehensive plan every seven years using that method. The complex process must include public input.

In addition to reaching out to a long list of community, business and civic groups to gather their ideas, the county planning staff is also hoping that the workshops offer people otherwise unconnected to such groups their say as well.

For every interest group that will have input based on its own agenda, residents need to voice their desires as well, Hammond said. Otherwise, the community's future "may be carved out by the big boys,'' she said. "We so much need the public input.''

Each workshop will focus on one specific area of planning concern, with Monday's session focused on groundwater and potable water.

Several short presentations are planned followed by a time for residents to step up and have their say. The meetings are not expected to run past 7 p.m. and they will be taped for rebroadcast and for video viewing on the county's website.

In two recent meetings with the Planning and Zoning Commission, planner Patricia McNeese explained that the evaluation report should be based on the growth issues each community designates.

Hernando planners are looking at the county's needs through 2035, when the population may have increased by another 50 percent.

The five areas of concern in Hernando include groundwater and potable water, economic development, preserving the integrity of natural resources, providing needed infrastructure and the future land use pattern.

The workshops will take place on the second Monday of the month through January before the draft goes to the County Commission. In December, when the group is discussing transportation, sanitary sewers, solid waste and schools, the meeting will be at the school district headquarters.

The completed evaluation report is due Aug. 1, 2011. After that is approved by the state, the county planning staff will begin work on a series of comprehensive plan amendments which match up with changes identified as needed through the process.

Those will be considered through 2013.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1434

If you go

Evaluation and appraisal workshops

Sept. 13: 5:30 p.m. in the County Commission Chambers of the Hernando County Government Center.

Focus is groundwater and potable water.

October: Economic development and sustainable jobs.

November: Natural resource integrity and landscape.

December: Infrastructure and level of service.

January: Future land use pattern.

For information and to make comments regarding the comprehensive plan, visit

Hernando uses workshops to ask residents for input on key growth issues 09/10/10 [Last modified: Friday, September 10, 2010 7:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Roosevelt Blvd closed at I-275 after truck hauling crane hits overpass


    ST. PETERSBURG — A truck transporting a construction crane hit the Interstate 275 overpass at Roosevelt Boulevard Tuesday.

  2. One Pasco County student arrested for bringing weapons to school, another for threatening shooting


    Two Pasco County students from different schools were arrested Tuesday, one for having weapons on school grounds and the other for threatening a school shooting.

  3. It's official: Hillsborough high schools move to 8:30 a.m. start time, elementary schools to go earlier


    TAMPA — Hillsborough County high schools school will be in session from 8:30 a.m. to 3:25 p.m. starting in 2018-19, the School Board decided Tuesday in a 6-0 vote.

    The Hillsborough County School Board has decided to end a compressed bus schedule that caused an estimated 12,000 children to get to school late every day. Under the new schedule, high schools will start at 8:30 a.m. instead of 7:30 a.m. Elementary schools will start at 7:40 a.m. and middle schools at 9:25 a.m. [Times files]
  4. NFL players, owners hold 'constructive' talks on issues


    NEW YORK — NFL players and owners met Tuesday to discuss social issues, a session Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross called "constructive" and Colts defensive back Darius Butler termed "positive."

    A coalition of advocacy groups 'take a knee' outside of a hotel where members the quarterly NFL league meetings are being held on Tuesday in New York City.  Owners, players and commissioner Roger Goodell are all expected to attend. The activists spoke of having solidarity with athletes and coaches around the country who have also kneeled in protest of racial injustice, especially in policing.
 [Getty Images]
  5. The topic will be neighborhoods as Kriseman, Baker debate one more time


    ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker will face off, possibly for the last time before the Nov. 7 election, in a candidate forum on Wednesday hosted by the influential Council of Neighborhood Associations.

    St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, left, and former Mayor Rick Baker during a September forum. The two will will face off, possibly for the last time before the Nov. 7 election, during  a candidate forum at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Sunshine Center, 330 5th St. N. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]