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Brooksville Council approves new development rules

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Land developers in Brooksville will be required to adhere to new building codes that were unanimously approved by the Brooksville City Council in September. In March, the city council voted unanimously to put a moratorium on new property development applications pending the formation and establishment of new building codes contained in the city’s comprehensive plan.

The amended code is intended to respond to rapid city and county growth and create a distinctive image for the City of Brooksville.
During its regular meeting on Sept. 18, the Council voted to lift the moratorium and approve an ordinance amending the city’s existing code for development within the Brooksville city limits.

Specifically, the new codes require that the developers of planned developments make the best use of land parcels, provide adequate and economical streets, parks, open spaces, storm drainage, and sewer and water utilities, use and preserve open spaces, and offer recreational opportunities close to residential developments.

They also require that all commercial and office developments and the redevelopment of certain portions of some commercial spaces feature architectural and site designs that are compatible with commercial and office uses. It also requires that historic heritage design elements in the historic commercial core and nearby residential neighborhoods incorporate design elements to create and maintain a strong community image “that enhance the visual impact and contribution of commercial and office development in Brooksville.”

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Also, under ordinance 969, developers must seek the city’s permission to remove large oak trees and to plant two trees in the yards of new homes.
Among other provisions, the ordinance also calls for replacing pole-mounted signs with so-called monument signs within ten years after the measure was adopted unless specifically grandfathered into the code.

Pole signs are large, lighted signs that sit atop poles and are positioned high above roadways for maximum visibility. In discussions about pole signs, city council members cited the Luigi’s pole sign as one that would be grandfathered.

Monument signs are large, free-standing, weather-resistant signs that sit close to ground level and are constructed of brick, stone, stainless steel, or plastic, generally placed near roadways to help identify a business within a building, office complex, or shopping area.
The Council approved the ordinance by a vote of 5-0.

Afterward, Mayor Blake Bell praised the council for protecting the city’s best interest. “I’m thrilled at the work that the city council has done in the last six months to protect the Brooksville and the Old Florida that we love,” Bell said. “I am particularly excited about the new provisions that protect our large oaks and other species of trees.”

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