Hernando County Commission refuses to hear case for sand mine off Rester Drive

Hernando County Government Center
Hernando County Government Center
Published July 1

BROOKSVILLE — Earlier this month, residents who live in the rural areas off Rester Drive east of Grove Road were successful in convincing the county Planning and Zoning Commission to say no to a conditional-use permit for a 40-acre sand mine in their neighborhood.

Last week, applicant Chris Carollo's representative, attorney Darryl Johnston, came to the Hernando County Commission, seeking a hearing to overturn that decision. But many of those same residents repeated their list of reasons why the proposal was not appropriate. County commissioners voted June 25 to uphold the Planning and Zoning Commission denial.

The primary concern of the commission mirrored what already had been said about the project. It was slated to bring heavy, commercial trucks down Rester Drive, which includes a stretch that is a private road and only one lane wide.

Parents and those who worry about the children in the neighborhood voiced concern about youngsters walking to schools on the other side of Grove Road, sharing the narrow roadway with trucks. Other residents said the road us so impassable that even emergency vehicles cannot travel there.

Johnston urged commissioners to allow him to present Carollo's proposal, pointing out that his road safety, access and maintenance plan would have to pass muster with the county's engineer before the permit could be granted.

Commissioner John Allocco argued that the applicant should have his hearing, but he was outvoted by the other four commissioners.

Commissioner Steve Champion, who made the motion to deny the application, said that "there's no chance that this is going to get approved'' because of the many concerns, so it didn't make sense to spend more staff time reviewing and presenting it.

Contact Barbara Behrendt at bbehrendt@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1434.