The Brooksville City Council has postponed its decision to grant a request to rezone the Milk-A-Way Farms to create a mixed-use development.
Developers Croom Road Land Holdings LLC propose to develop the 442-acre site into 940 residential units consisting of 657 conventional single family homes, 120 villas and townhomes, 145 multifamily units and 10,000 square-feet of commercial space. The project has been controversial because of its density, and because about 230-acres within the site are identified as a flood hazard area.
The rezoning request came back before the Council after it was denied in May.
During its Aug. 16 meeting, developer Cliff Manuel requested the postponement on grounds that he needed more time to work with Acting City Manager Ron Snowberger and with City Acting Director of Community Development/City Planner Steve Gouldman on ways to refine the proposal for the development.
“It is a very complicated project – this project is not your every day 200 lots slapped on a couple of acres there’s a lot to digest,” Manuel told Council members. “Because of that we would respectfully request tonight that you continue our Milk-A-Way Farms project hearings to Sept. 20 so that we will have had enough time with (Snowberger and Gouldman) to get something in front of you all that you would be proud of supporting.”
Gouldman said that postponing the rezoning decision to Sept. 20 would allow enough time for the City to complete its work with the developers.
According to Gouldman the city planners and project developers have already made some progress toward making the project more acceptable to the City.
“Thus far (the developers) have provided us with larger lots along the perimeter, an extra foot of side yard setbacks along the periphery, and they’ve also provided an enhanced buffer area that has some significant planting in it.”
Even so, sticking points remain including lot sizes and buffer size, Gouldman said.
“It’s a matter of trying to come to an agreement – can we get there, I don’t know, but they’re asking us to try,” Gouldman said. “If we can’t, we’ll come back to Council and agree to disagree and Council can make the decision.”
Finally, Brayton moved to postpone the Council’s decision on the rezoning request beyond Sept. 20 date into October.
“I’m making a motion to accept a continuance to a certain date of Oct. 4,” Brayton said. “And Mr. Manuel, Mr Goldman, let’s do something because this is going to be it.”
That motion was carried by a vote of 4-1 with Erhard casting the dissenting vote.
The next hearing for the proposed rezoning of Milk-A-Way Farms property will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 4.