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PLANNERS APPROVE HOUSING PROPOSAL

Hernando planners approve 80-acre Powell Road housing development

Hernando planners on Monday approved a proposal for an 80-acre housing development offering a mix of estate-sized lots and multifamily units.

The project, proposed by Powell Road Partners LLC, calls for 12 estate home lots of about 5 acres each on 59 acres and 252 multifamily units on the remaining 21 acres.

The development, set for Powell Road west of U.S. 41 next to Hernando Oaks, drew questions from neighbors concerned that there might be too many units for the largely undeveloped area and that it might hurt their home values.

Access to the development was another area of concern for residents and members of the Hernando County Planning and Zoning Commission.

While the plan showed a road connecting to Hernando Oaks, Buddy Selph, representing the developer, said that was just for access planning and that he knew permission from Hernando Oaks would be required for that to happen.

Planning commissioner Denis Riley asked about the required secondary access point. Commissioners discussed alternatives with county planners and eventually settled on requiring a second access point through the planned commercial area of Hernando Oaks if permission is obtained. If that doesn't work, there will be a second connection to Powell Road.

The project would not provide enough of a transition between the rural surroundings and the more developed area approaching U.S. 41, argued Hernando Oaks resident Norbert Herzberg.

The residential development is too dense, said another Hernando Oaks resident, Michele Parisano.

"I don't think we need this development," echoed Ron Twardosky, who lives in the area.

Selph assured planning commissioners that the density even in the multifamily area was lower than what is allowed. The area south of Powell Road is part of the zone around the airport and would eventually become business or industrial, he said.

The planning commission required the developer to provide 80 feet of road frontage right of way andadditional land for utilities or drainage. Planning commissioners voted unanimously to recommend the rezoning to the County Commission.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at behrendt@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1434.

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