In agreement with the numerous residents that attended the Oct. 24, 2023, Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting, commissioners unanimously rejected the proposed mediated settlement agreement that would allow the inclusion of a storage facility on the property located on the northwest corner of the intersection of Pythia Place and Linden Drive, approximately 300 feet north of County Line Road.
The rezoning petition was denied at the Dec. 13, 2022, BOCC meeting and was subsequently heard by a Special Master.
Attorney Darryl Johnston represented the petitioners, listed as Adam Webster, Wayne Karastury, and Civil-Tech Consulting Services, LLC, on behalf of Mohamed Nazir Hamoui and Nada Hamoui as Trustees of the N and N Family Revocable Trust.
Johnston began by saying that the only reason the matter came before the board was because of the specific C-2 use request. Part of the mediated settlement agreement deletes the portion of the facility that would be visible from Linden Drive, on the northeast corner of the property. He emphasized that any storage facility, whether it be one floor or four requires a C-2 zoning designation. The floor plan for the intended facility is one story.
Under the settlement agreement, entrance to the storage facility would be prohibited from Linden Drive. Any visible facade would adhere to Hernando County’s architectural standards. “If you develop a commercial piece of property in Hernando County, there are certain architectural standards you have to adhere to…” Johnston believes the plan for the storage facility supersedes the standard but deferred to Planning Administrator Michelle Miller to make the ultimate determination.
Also under the settlement agreement, the building would be single-story, a noise restriction would be in effect after 9 p.m., a 6-foot vinyl security fence would be installed as an additional buffer, and the maximum square footage would be reduced to 84,000 square feet. Johnston added, “There are some things that are clearly an addition to what staff had looked at before and recommended, including that the warehouse square footage is reduced… Those are limitations that we subjected ourselves to as part of trying to resolve this to a compromise.”
The property is currently zoned C-1 and would require a specific C-2 inclusion to allow for the storage facility. C-1 use allows for basic professional and office operations; however, Chairman John Allocco said at the beginning of Citizens’ Comments, “With the current C-1 zoning there, you can have a gas station there, and it would not come before (the BOCC for approval). That can go in there.” Such a station would limit fueling bays to 12 vehicles.
Other permitted C-1 establishments include, but are not limited to: comparison goods stores (such as vehicles, household goods, or clothing), convenience stores, personal service establishments, business training schools, restaurants, motion picture theaters, hotels and motels, daycare centers or nursing homes.
However, local residents and commissioners agree that a storage facility would be inconsistent with the surrounding residential area. All local residents in attendance opposed the inclusion of the storage facility.