At the regular meeting on March 8, 2022, commissioners unanimously approved the rezoning of a half-acre property that is home to the Aripeka Stone Crab Company. The property, located at 3080 Sunset Vista Dr, Spring Hill, FL 34607, was zoned residential (R1B) and agricultural (AG) and is now zoned Planned Development Project (Commercial Marine) (“PDP(CM)”). The rezoning means that Aripeka Stone Crab Company can continue their commercial crabbing and fishing operation on the property.
The switch was supported by all in attendance, except one resident who lives in the area. Several letters opposing the change were entered into the record prior to the meeting.
Documents in the agenda packet state, “The Future Land Use designation for the Property is Rural per the Hernando County Future Land Use Map. The Comprehensive Plan, however, recognizes a Specialty Marine Commercial Future Land Use category within the Aripeka community and the property more closely aligns with the Specialty Marine Commercial Future Land Use category…”
Those that spoke in support of owners John Richardson and Karri Holiday had the same thoughts. Most wore signage on their clothing that read simply, “YES.”
Richardson began by giving a brief history of the seafood market, which was started by his family in 1985. It was located at 3120 Fiddler Lane, on Palm Island, one-third of a mile away from its current location.
Hernando Beach resident Jodie Pillarella, who has previously opposed commercial seafood operations on Hernando Beach said in her comments, “I’m against commercial seafood in the wrong spot … it’s in the right spot now.”