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Air traffic implies land plan changes

Garden Grove resident John Chapman knows all too well where the Hernando County Airport is _ and not just because it is only a few thousand feet across U.S. 41 from his double-wide mobile home. "We live right under the landing area," Chapman said. "We can almost count the rivets on the planes when the go over."

In addition to the noise the small, low-flying private planes create, the vibrations from their propellers have unsettled Chapman's and other people's homes in Garden Grove.

"When the big planes eventually come in, they're going to use the same route," Chapman said. "That will be even worse."

Almost assuredly, bigger planes someday will land and take off at the airport. It is one of only two airports in the state that have been identified as having the potential to be served by commercial aircraft within the next 20 years.

So to keep more people such as Chapman from being bothered by airplane noise and vibrations _ and potential danger _ Hernando County is considering a change to its comprehensive growth plan. It would significantly limit the number of new homes that could be built around certain portions of the airport.

Under a version of the change approved Monday by county planning and zoning commissioners, meeting as the county Local Planning Agency, no houses could be built within 10,000 feet of the approaches of the airport's runways. And mobile homes could be located only in parks approved by the county before August of this year. In other areas surrounding the airport, only one house could be built per 10 acres and mobile homes also would not be allowed outside of parks that do not have the county's approval before August.

Commercial, industrial and some agricultural uses would be permitted in the areas, and existing homes and residential developments already planned would not be affected.

The area will include nearly 470 acres along the perimeter of the 2,500 acres currently within the airport's jurisdiction. Most of the land is on the eastern side of U.S. 41, near the Garden Grove and Glen Raven mobile home parks. A small portion is located northwest of Masaryktown.

The land-use regulation still needs the approval of the Hernando County Commission and the state Department of Community Affairs (DCA). It probably will be at least December before the rule takes effect, according to county planner Jerry Greif.

U.S. 19 rezoning

Also on Monday, the Local Planning Agency gave initial approval for a growth plan change that would rezone a 500-acre tract at U.S. 19 and Centralia Road from industrial to residential.

The land _ which, during the early 1900s, was the site of the Centraila logging village _ is to be part of a 1,500-acre subdivision being proposed by the development group Jireh Inc., which is controlled by Dr. James Gills of Pinellas County.

Plans submitted by Gills in 1983 call for more than 2,600 single and multifamily homes to be built at the golf course development, along with a nursing home and some 55 acres of commercial development.

The zoning change must be approved by the County Commission and the DCA.

In other action, the planning agency and the Planning and Zoning Commission:

Gave initial approval to expansion of a shopping center being planned at the southwest corner of Mariner Boulevard and State Road 50. A Kmart department store, a movie theater and nearly 30 other retail stores tentatively are planned at the center, which is now scheduled to be larger than 287,000 square feet.

Gave initial approval for a special-exception use permit that will allow for a 13-acre expansion of the U.U. In the Pines church retreat on Cedar Lane Drive, near SR 50 southeast of Brooksville.