1. Hernando

Hernando County approves master plan for Trails at Rivard, but with fewer homes

Hernando County Government Center
Hernando County Government Center
Published Jul. 17, 2019

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Commissioners on Tuesday granted a new master plan for the undeveloped portion of the Trails at Rivard, but they didn't allow all of the residential lots requested.

Rivard Development LLC was seeking approval for 325 residential units on lots ranging from 4,800 to 6,000 square feet. On Tuesday, the developer's representative, Richard Matassa, said that request had been reduced to 288 residences on 6,000 square foot lots.

But commissioners and residents still had concerns about the new plan's compatibility with existing lots of 14,000 square feet, about the limited capacity of the community's road system and especially about the single entrance and exit from the subdivision.

Attorney Darryl Johnston, representing the developer, made a familiar argument — that buyers today are looking for homes on smaller lots. When Rivard was first envisioned, "it was an entirely different market,'' he said. Johnston also said that it "flies in the face of logic'' to argue that the single access point wasn't acceptable when the project that was approved twice before with that same access.

The access road, which connects to U.S. 41 near the Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport, is not only a single way in and out, but also crosses a railroad track, creating more concerns about access if there is an emergency, residents have argued.

Commissioners approved their planning staff's recommendation of 240 lots ranging in size from 5,500 square feet to 7,700 square feet, placing larger lots next to existing portions of the community. County development services director Ron Pianta said the project was vested for that many units because of its previous county approval.

The county Planning and Zoning Commission had recommended denial of the master plan, noting the access issues and the Hernando County School District's concern that it did not have capacity in the neighborhood elementary school for students the project could generate. The developer will have to work out an agreement with the school district to resolve that concern, county officials said.

Contact Barbara Behrendt at or (352) 848-1434.


  1. A for sale sign is seen in front of a home in the Westchase area of Tampa. CHRIS URSO  |  Times (2013)
    And a spike in cash sales suggests investors were active in the market.
  2. A look at the construction on the Tierra Verde bridge project which is the bridge between Isla Del Sol and Tierra Verde islands on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020 in St. Petersburg. The project began in December 2018 and is scheduled to be completed in summer of 2021. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Dr. Delay takes a deep dive into the construction process for the $56.3 million State Road 679 and Bayway Bridge project .
  3. A proposed bill in the Legislature would set a statewide referendum on whether to amend Florida's constitution to add a year to the period when home buyers can transfer their accumulated benefits under the Save Our Homes cap on property assessments to a new home. Pinellas County Property Appraiser Mike Twitty says going from two years to three would reduce the possibility that construction delays in a booming real estate market would prevent some buyers from meeting the deadline, costing them potentially thousands 
 of dollars in property tax savings. [SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN | Times (2019)]
    The bill, the idea of Pinellas County Property Appraiser Mike Twitty, would give buyers another year to transfer their tax savings under Florida’s Save Our Homes assessment cap to a home they’ve...
  4. Child and family advocate Jack Levine. [CHRIS URSO  |  Times]
    The founder of 4Generations Institute discusses his commitment to children and families.
  5. More than 44 percent of people who searched on for the Tampa Bay area from June to December were outside the region, according to a report from Apartment List. Percentages in the “Top Three Sources” box represent the share of searches coming from outside the metro area. (Apartment List map) [Apartment List]
    The region trails only Denver, Baltimore and San Diego for the percentage of people from outside the area searching for apartments on Apartment List.
  6. Hernando County's deputy fire chief has been chosen as the new fire chief in Groveland. [Hernando County]
    Hernando’s assistant fire chief gets kudos from Hernando County Commission.
  7. ALICE HERDEN | Special to the Times
The Brooksville Blueberry Festival has attracted many visitors from outside the community. [ALICE HERDEN | SPECIAL TO THE TI  |  Alice Herden]
    Commissioners approve $22,630 in funds for community activities.
  8. Members of the  Brooksville Buffalo Soldiers brought up the rear of the parade along Howell Avenue Monday morning at annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade in downtown Brooksville. Pictured in front is Trooper Richard Wilder (holding flag) and his grandson Trevon Douglas. In back is First Sergeant H.L. Williams and his grandson, Trevion Patterson. [PHYLLIS DAY  |  Times]
  9. Jaclyn Campbell, 23, left, braves the cold temperatures while walking with her colleague Tysjah Pitchford during their lunch break in downtown Tampa in December. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
    Temperatures Tuesday reached the 30s for the first time since 2018. Wednesday will start there, too.
  10. Michael Maine is the Hernando County School District senior recruiter. [Hernando County School District]
    The district has on average 39 teacher openings.