The Brooksville City Council (BCC) unanimously approved the first reading of a plan to rezone a parcel of land near the Southern Hills and Cascade communities. The plan was previously presented for its first reading to the Council during its Nov. 7 meeting, but the panel postponed deciding the rezoning until residents of the Southern Hills community could meet with the developer and his representatives to air their concerns about the proposed project.
That plan presented by SH Venture II, LLC, calls for rezoning approximately 119.8 acres from Hernando County Agricultural (AG) to a City of Brooksville Planned Development Project-Residential (PDP-R). Located on the north side of Southern Hills Boulevard, immediately east and west of the future Governor’s Boulevard and east of US Highway 41 (Broad Street), the rezoning would 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.
During the Nov. 7 meeting, residents of the Southern Hills community told council members that they had concerns about traffic, flooding, utility availability, and overcrowding connected to the rezoning. Additionally, residents stated that they never had the opportunity to present their concerns directly to the developer and his representatives from Coastal Engineering Associates, Inc.
In response, the Council put off its decision to rule on the proposed rezoning request until such a meeting could take place.
As a result, Southern Hills residents and the project’s developer met on Nov. 14.
That meeting resulted in adding a pair of amendments to the original rezoning plan, including extending buffer areas from 20 feet to 30 feet along Southern Hills Boulevard and replacing a white PVC fence behind that buffer with a 6-foot-high black chain link fence containing privacy sections.
Also, the developer agreed to maintain a 20-foot buffer at the Cascades entrance and not disturb that area’s natural characteristics and vegetation.
At the same time, the developer also agreed to make sure that the primary entrance to the future developments in the area retains the architectural features, including color and materials contained in the Southern Hills main entrance.
“So with (those) modifications, we agree to all your staff recommendations for approval of this ordinance,” said Coastal President Cliff Manuel.
Finally, City of Brooksville planner Steve Gouldman recommended that the panel approve the first reading of the rezoning request with only clarifications of the proposed amendments to the original proposed rezoning plan.
“Not only did we find it (the proposed rezoning plan) consistent with the comprehensive plan, but we found it compatible with the development pattern in this general area,” Gouldman told the Council. “So other than just some tweaks to what he (Manuel) has presented, we recommend that you approve this.”
The second reading of the rezoning plan is slated for Dec. 5 during the next regular meeting of the Brooksville City Council.