Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the rezoning of two adjacent parcels south of Mason Smith Road and west of Broad Street from Agricultural (AG) to Planned Development Project — Single Family) (PDP(SF)) and Planned Development Project — Multifamily (PDP(MF)).
Though it is still early in the planning process, the two parcels are expected to provide space for 1,250 dwelling units consisting of single-family homes, townhomes, and villas.
The two parcels were combined for a single hearing since they are dependent on each other, especially when future traffic is considered. For identification purposes, the western most parcel is referred to as “Mason,” and the eastern parcel, “Hunnicutt.”
“Mason” refers to the owner of record, John Mason, and “Hunnicutt” refers to the property owner of the eastern parcel, Earle Blakely Hunnicut.
Two major roadways are planned for access to the development; a north-south road connecting Mason Smith road to a roadway that ultimately will terminate in the Hernando Oaks subdivision, and an east-west road connecting Broad street to an internal residential roadway. The intersection of these two roadways will feature a roundabout.
Don Lacey of Coastal Engineering showed that the northwest corner of the westernmost property is identified as a drainage area, and is part of the Peck Sink watershed. Recreation areas will be located between the wetland areas and residences.
The southernmost portion of the Hunnicutt parcel abuts the yet-undeveloped Phase 5 of Hernando Oaks. Lacey reports conditions of approval mandate that lots that border the Hernando Oaks property will be for single-family homes on a minimum of 50 feet in width. Another condition of approval states that the design of the development will feature villa and townhome lots centrally located near proposed recreation areas, or clustered with other lot types on the Mason parcel. The site plan is still in a conceptual phase and subject to change.
Lacey reported that a relatively new trend in community design is to mix different types of lots together in a cluster, rather than designating lot types to specific areas of a parcel. President Cliff Manuel explained that changes in market trends have resulted in the new design pattern, which will also result in “significant landscaping packages.”
He explained, “When they start clustering these environments where they’re mixing products, they’re adding landscaping that provide buffers and things that weren’t in [a traditional] community.”
Before construction plans can be submitted, the developer must ascertain which utility providers service the area, since it falls in a nebulous zone with uncertain utility jurisdictions.
County Planner Michelle Miller reported that the Hernando County School District (HCSD) has affirmed that the district does currently have capacity for students moving into the development. As this could change in the future, HCSD will need to submit a formal binding Finding of Capacity when the parcels are platted.