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Commission approves deal for Lowe's plans to proceed

With almost no discussion, Hernando County commissioners unanimously approved an agreement that will allow Lowe's Home Centers Inc. to build a new store at Berkeley Manor Boulevard and U.S. 19.

The deal, crafted over several months, aims to prevent truck traffic from getting into the neighboring subdivision. That threat had motivated dozens of residents to oppose the construction project.

But more than 70 neighbors crowded the commission chambers Tuesday to support the agreement as an alternative to costly litigation, which they expected the county would lose. Lowe's sued the county in the summer after commissioners rejected the company's bid for a frontage road leading to the proposed store.

The accord paves the way for Lowe's to complete its site plans, get permits and begin building. Joe Mason, a lawyer representing the company, said the new store could be open before the end of the year.

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