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HomeBusiness & CommunityCounty Approves Rezoning for 55+ Rental Community near Wellington

County Approves Rezoning for 55+ Rental Community near Wellington

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The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) unanimously approved the rezoning of a 29-acre property on the north side of County Line Road just east of Farnsworth Road to permit the construction of a rental community for residents aged 55 and older.

The original Combined Planning Development Project (CPDP) is now zoned Planned Development Project (Multi-Family) (PDP(MF)). Plans for Rialto Apartments Limited include 220 single-story dwelling units, recreational facilities and a clubhouse.

The main boulevard access will be from County Line Road, and a secondary entrance will connect to an extension of Quality Drive at the northeast corner of the property.

The property lies adjacent to the Verano development to the east and will be connected to Verano via an access-controlled gate to mitigate traffic on County Line from Verano residents. The Quality Drive entrance will also be gated.

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According to Don Lacey of Coastal Engineering, a traffic study is expected to be conducted, and in coordination with County Engineering, there could be future modifications to Rialto’s access points.

Commissioner John Allocco stressed the need for the retirement community, “This type of housing is desperately needed in our county, rentals for 55 and over.” He added that the Wellington subdivision to the north is supportive of the development. Allocco also added that the community will be appreciated by many affected by recent Homeowner’s Insurance hikes, should they need to downsize.

Commissioner Steve Champion commended Coastal Engineering on their success in working with residents of Wellington, which resulted in very little opposition from the community. “You’ve done a great job of communicating with them because they’re not here in force. That says something.”

Wellington resident Stuart Pratt said, “I guess I represent all of Wellington today … We’re very pleased with being able to be working with Coastal [Engineering] and the [Planning and Zoning] Board … I can’t say I won’t miss looking out on trees and animals, but this is probably one of the best uses for this property.”

Pratt does have concerns about the traffic on County Line Road. “Traffic is incredible there now, and it’s just going to increase.” Coastal Engineering President Cliff Manuel explained that allowing access to Verano residents will allow them to use the entrance at Quality Drive, mitigating traffic from both developments on County Line Road.

Scott Herring told the board that there are no immediate plans for a traffic light at Farnsworth and County Line but added, “I can tell you by looking at the overall maps that Farnsworth makes the most likely candidate to be a signalized intersection.”

Commissioner Brian Hawkins asked County Administrator Jeff Rogers if the signal at Farnsworth could be funded if the County’s whole-cent sales tax referendum passes in November. Rogers answered affirmatively and added, “If it had passed last time, you’d have a signal under construction.”

Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil is a reporter for the Hernando Sun as well as a business technology developer, specializing in website development, content management systems, and data analysis.
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