Tuesday, September 18, 2018
News Roundup

Hernando Commissioners approve 3,000-home development in Spring Hill

BROOKSVILLE — The large planned development known as Spring Center passed its last major hurdle Tuesday when the Hernando County Commission voted unanimously to rezone undeveloped land for the residential and commercial project billed as creating a downtown for Spring Hill.

At 450 acres, Spring Center could someday include 3,000 homes, up to 750,000 square feet of commercial space and as many as 250,000 square feet of office space.

The development would loop residential neighborhoods around a town center featuring businesses, private and governmental offices, and potentially a transit hub. It would include a 20-acre park and recreational walking and biking paths crisscrossing the community. It sets aside land for expanding Explorer K-8 School, which is perched at the northwest corner of the property.

The developer is TTG Properties, and the owners are Mark and Sharon Taylor. Mark Taylor is a former member of the county Planning and Zoning Commission.

Nearby residents have raised a myriad of concerns about Spring Center. They worry about increased traffic on already stressed roadways, especially around the school. They’ve spoken out about the loss of wildlife habitat, increased noise and disturbances during construction, and the potential loss of property values.

There was little public comment on Tuesday, but 22-year Spring Hill resident Thomas Bentine wrote to commissioners that he had all of those worries.

"You have done this in the past, so you would think you should have learned some from past mistakes, but yet again, I don’t think any of you live here,’’ he said. "Meanwhile, for the next 20 years, I can listen to construction work five days a week.’’

The Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce supported the development in a letter submitted to the commission last month.

Coastal Engineering officials, representing the owner, argued before the Planning and Zoning Commission and the County Commission that a planned development district gives the county more control over what the community will look like. The alternative would be a repeat of Spring Hill’s one-subdivision-at-a-time development pattern.

Commissioners asked about conditions in the approval, including a requirement to provide affordable workforce housing and provisions to raise funds for future fire and police protection. The plan sets aside a 10-acre parcel for future use, such as for a fire station.

For large developments like Spring Center, the county has "to make sure that they have either planned for service or can provide it,’’ said Ron Pianta, county planning director, "because we certainly don’t want to leave citizens without emergency services.’’

Tuesday’s vote is the last major approval needed, but Don Lacey of Coastal Engineering said the commission also will have a say in agreements related to the school property, water resources and use, and traffic and road development.

Contact Barbara Behrendt at [email protected] or (352) 848-1434.

>>>Previous coverage:> Massive Spring Hill development gets two county approvals in one week>>

>>>Previous coverage:> Spring Hill development could bring 3,000 homes, city center>>

Comments
Bucs’ Jameis Winston sued by Arizona Uber driver in alleged groping incident

Bucs’ Jameis Winston sued by Arizona Uber driver in alleged groping incident

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston was sued Tuesday by the Arizona Uber driver who has accused him of sexual assault by groping her in March.The woman — identified only as Kate P. in the federal court papers — is seeking more than ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 1 hour ago
For starters: Rays at Rangers, with Snell going for No. 20

For starters: Rays at Rangers, with Snell going for No. 20

UPDATE, 6:53: Cash said he and others around the team are excited about the possibility of Snell getting his 20th win, and also that they obviously want to win the game. Cash showed it by starting C Jesus Sucre, who Snell likes to throw to. … M...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Tampa Bay businesses feel Red Tide’s sting: ‘Our sales are going to be our lowest ever’

Tampa Bay businesses feel Red Tide’s sting: ‘Our sales are going to be our lowest ever’

TREASURE ISLAND — For the first time during her 15 years bartending at Caddy’s on the Beach, Amanda Hudson had to help close shop early this past weekend because the smell of dead fish coming from the gulf was too putrid to bear."We had to shut down ...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Updated: 3 hours ago
Dolphins’ Minkah Fitzpatrick files trademark application for ‘FitzMagic’

Dolphins’ Minkah Fitzpatrick files trademark application for ‘FitzMagic’

Enjoy "FitzMagic" while you can.Not because Ryan Fitzpatrick's days as the Bucs starting quarterback might be numbered once Jameis Winston returns from his three-game suspension.Rather, because Dolphins defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick might soon ha...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Cartoons for Wednesday, Sept. 19

Cartoons for Wednesday, Sept. 19

Editorial cartoons from Times wires
Updated: 5 hours ago
Police release name of man shot Tuesday at Tampa apartment complex

Police release name of man shot Tuesday at Tampa apartment complex

TAMPA — An 18-year-old man was critically injured Tuesday when he was shot at an apartment complex in northeast Tampa.Officers responded about 2:30 a.m. to a call about an unknown emergency at the Silver Oaks Apartments, 4200 Kenneth Court, Ta...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Strong mayor question has top Clearwater officials mulling options

Strong mayor question has top Clearwater officials mulling options

CLEARWATER — It was no coincidence that after 11 years working for the city, Deputy City Manager Jill Silverboard put her name in the hat for two outside jobs within the past three months.After discussions about changing Clearwater’s co...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Say hello to Major Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bucs QB and Civil War pen pal

Say hello to Major Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bucs QB and Civil War pen pal

You’ve probably heard about the #FitzMagic phenomenon by now, but are you following Major Ryan Fitzpatrick’s dispatches from the front lines of the NFL circa 1862?Months before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup-turned-temporary (but also ma...
Updated: 6 hours ago