BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County Housing Authority's plans for a senior housing project on Barnett Road got a major boost Monday when planners sided with the authority over objectors.
The principal, teachers and students from the school associated with Queen of All Saints Catholic Church, located adjacent to the housing authority's 5-acre parcel just east of Windy Way, expressed concerns about a multifamily apartment building so close to their church and school.
Zoning for the multifamily units has been in place since 2002, however. The property came before the Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday for a change in the configuration of the plan.
Previously, the housing authority had considered seven buildings on the site with a total of 64 dwelling units. Under the new plan, just one three-story building is envisioned with all 64 units under one roof.
"It provides for a nicer-looking site, but it also provides for more security,'' said Don Singer, housing authority director.
The concerns of the adjacent landowners were met when they were assured that the housing project would be specifically limited to residents age 55 or older.
Singer said he also met with several of the concerned church and school officials after the hearing and agreed to work with them on any other remaining concerns.
The authority hopes to develop the complex through a public/private partnership and is working through the process of securing financing, Singer said. He could not put an exact time line on when the housing might be built.
The units would work like other affordable housing in the community and would be available to tenants who make 60 percent of the median area salary or below.
The change in the master plan now goes to the County Commission with the recommendation of approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission.
In other business, the Planning and Zoning Commission extended the conditional use permit for the Land and Sand mine for another five years. The sand mine, north of Power Line Road and east of Interstate 75, has had a permit since 1995.
Several residents who live near the mine expressed concern about airborne sand, the noise of the operation and the use of the property by noisy motorbikes and four-wheelers. County staff expressed concern that there were violations on the site and that the mine had encroached upon the required 100-foot buffer around the edges of the 119-acre site.
Claire Clements, representing the mine, said that she did not allow motorbikes and four-wheelers and that she would fix that problem. She also agreed to address any encroachments within three months of receiving a separate permit from the development department to continue operating the mine.
Barbara Behrendt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1434.