BROOKSVILLE — An assisted living facility proposed for the northeast corner of Toucan Trail and Cessna Drive in Spring Hill was approved Monday by the Hernando County Planning and Zoning Commission.
The commission voted unanimously to approve a special exception use permit allowing the 72-bed facility to operate on a 7.6-acre site that had previously been turned down for a similar but more intense use.
Applicant Joseph W. Joseph of Tampa explained that he had extensive experience with similar types of facilities. His plan was to offer full-service assisted living including three meals a day, room-cleaning services and light medical activities in the seven existing buildings on the site.
He assured area residents that most of his clients would be 55 and older and he would not be running any sort of drug or alcohol treatment program from the facility. That is a special concern of nearby residents because they strongly protested an expansion of an existing substance-abuse treatment center on an adjacent parcel several years ago.
Stung by that case, neighbors in 2009 opposed an assisted living facility on the site that Joseph was seeking approval for now based on concerns about traffic and density. That proposal was for a 130-bed facility. The Planning and Zoning Commission rejected that plan.
Several residents voiced similar concerns about traffic on Monday.
Harry Timmons, who represented the owner of the site, said that using the existing buildings as single-family homes — because each had five or six bedrooms — might generate more traffic than an assisted living facility.
Barbara Behrendt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1434.