BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County Planning and Zoning Commission gave its go-ahead Monday for the creation of a planned development district in south Brooksville, considered crucial to proposed water, sewer and drainage improvements in the predominantly African-American neighborhood.
Commission members unanimously passed an amendment to the county's current land use plans, targeting a 290-acre area running from south of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Cortez Boulevard, between Main and Jefferson streets.
The area includes parcels inside and outside the city limits that are designated for future commercial, residential, industrial, institutional and recreational uses.
County senior planner Paul Wieczorek said the improvements would bolster the area's ability to attract business and enterprise development.
The revitalization effort is part of a two-year effort coordinated by the South Brooksville Community Initiatives Team, a group made up of city and county officials and community representatives. The plan to overhaul the area's aging and inadequate water, sewer and drainage system has drawn wide support from elected county and city officials, who recently approved an inter-local agreement that will pave the way to go after state and local grant money for the initial phase, which is expected to cost $6 million.
Some residents and business owners, however, said they still had questions about how the proposed improvements would affect their property.
James Holland told planning and zoning officials that he could find no information on how the new planned development district would affect existing businesses in the area. "There are more than 20 businesses there that I know of," Holland said. "How are you going to help people to keep them?"
Wieczorek said existing business owners will not have to get their properties rezoned.
A community initiatives team workshop is open to the public at 4:30 p.m. May 27 at Brooksville City Hall.
Logan Neill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1435.