Members of the Brooksville City Council put off its decision to rezone a parcel of land near the Southern Hills and Cascade communities until residents meet with developers and their representatives. The rezoning request had its first reading in the Council during the panel’s regular meeting on Nov. 7.
The petition by developer SH Venture II, LLC, calls for the rezoning of approximately 119.8 acres from Hernando County Agricultural (AD) to a City of Brooksville PDR-R. Located on the northside of Southern Hills Boulevard, immediately east and west of the future Governor Boulevard and east of US Highway 41 (Broad Street), the parcel would be rezoned to allow for the development of up to 222 single family detached homes and 72 townhomes. On March 7, 2022 City Council approved the rezoning of approximately 83.30 acres of the subject parcels located east of the future Governor Boulevard and immediately north of Southern Hills Boulevard to PDP-R to allow for the development of 175 single family conventional homes.
Even so, residents of the Southern Hills community told Council members that they had concerns about traffic, flooding, utility availability and overcrowding that could result from the rezoning.
The townhomes’ development caused the greatest concern.
“Townhomes will quickly become rental units,” one Southern Hills resident told the Council. “There is obviously a time and a place for multifamily and affordable housing but there are currently no services available to people interested in that area.”
In response, Coastal Engineering Associates, Inc. President Cliff Manuel said that under the proposal the Southern Hills developer “must pay” for sewer and road utility for up to 3,000 units, and that the townhomes were not intended to constitute “affordable housing.”
“Also, nothing is proposed to be affordable housing; these will be $280,000 to $350,000 townhomes built for a certain part of the market that needs them,” Manuel said. “A lot of people are moving into this area and they are looking at Brooksville as a place they want to live – you want a mixed infill and that does include high-quality townhomes.”
Some residents also complained that they never had a chance to meet the developer or anyone from Coastal Engineering, and asked the panel to put off acting on the rezoning request until such a meeting could take place.
“What will the next proposal be from these people?” ne resident asked. “It is unfair to go into this and be blindsided by what the next proposal is gonna be.”
In response, the Council unanimously voted to postpone its decision until a meeting between the developer, representatives of Coastal engineering and area residents can take place sometime before the next Brooksville City Council on Nov. 21.