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Rezoning for development adjacent to Southern Hills Plantation

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On March 7, the city of Brooksville will consider the second and final reading of an ordinance that rezones an 83.3-acre tract from Hernando County AG (Agriculture) to City of Brooksville PDP-R (Planned Development Project Residential). The tract is located adjacent to Southern Hills Plantation on the northside of Southern Hills Blvd. The ordinance was approved by the city council 4-0 (Erhard absent) on Feb. 7.

According to city documentation on the project, “The petitioner has requested the property be rezoned to PD-R to allow for the development of up to 175 single-family detached homes. As proposed, the minimum lot size will be 5,500 square feet, with each lot a minimum of 50 feet wide and 110 feet in depth. The lots will be developed with front yards of 25 feet, 20-foot rear yards and side yards of 5 feet.”

City staff recommendations included the following:

“The development shall provide a recreation area a minimum of 2.5 upland acres in size. The recreation area shall be generally located as shown on the site plan and may contain a community center/clubhouse, swimming pools, ball courts, multi-use trails, exercise equipment, playground equipment, pavilions, picnic facilities, pergolas, gazebos, benches, bicycle racks, fountains, and public art. The recreation area shall be platted as a separate parcel and shall be owned and maintained by a Community Development District (CDD), Homeowners Association or similar entity.”

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“The project shall be permitted two access roadways and the roadways shall be located as shown on the site plan, with the access to Governor Boulevard located a minimum of 1,000 feet north of Southern Hills Boulevard. The developer shall design Governor Boulevard as a four-lane divided collector facility, but shall only be required to construct a two-lane facility on one side of the existing right-of-way. Construction shall include landscaping provided in accordance with The Florida-Friendly Landscaping Guide to Plant Selection and Landscape Design, drainage, irrigation, street lighting, bicycle and pedestrian facilities and regulatory signage. The construction of Governor Boulevard to the project entrance shall be completed prior to the issuance of the first Certificate of Occupancy for the project.”

Much of the discussion on the project during the first reading of the ordinance on Feb. 7 centered on the future Governor Blvd.

529_529_Exhibit_C_Site_Plan

Cliff Manual of Coastal Engineering, representing the applicant explained that the original developer sold his business to Crescent Resources, and then Crescent Resources stepped in and created through that original agreement, with the city, the opportunity to build Governor’s Boulevard, which would run from Powell Road to State Road 50 in order to offset capacity issues on 41. The original agreement was established in 2002-2003, so since that time the capacity issues have been addressed by the state. Manual said that today 41 could handle the capacity.

“I do think the city should look into its future under your new leadership and some of the new staff that you’ve hired and take a look at that agreement and how it works,” Manual recommended.

Ed Steigel, a Southern Hills resident who attended the Jan. 12 planning meeting and the Feb. 7 council meeting, questioned if the community would be gated and if trees were going to be clear cut, among other inquiries. He stated that questions have not yet been answered. He believes that Southern Hills homeowners and developers have common interests and “the development of an adjacent prestigious gated community, beautifully landscaped, that doesn’t diminish the tranquility of Southern Hills with track homes would be beneficial to both parties.”

Julie B. Maglio
Julie B. Maglio
Julie B. Maglio has experience in art, graphic arts, web design and development. She also has a strong scientific background, co-authoring a scientific paper on modeling the migration and population dynamics of the monarch butterfly, while attending the Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute at Cornell University. She holds a B.A. from New College of Florida, majoring in Biology.
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