by LISA MACNEIL
Hernando Sun Correspondent
This article corresponds to the DEC. 18, 2018 Hernando Board of County Commissioners Meeting agenda item:
COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR LEONARD SOSSAMON
1. Request to Use Impact Fees to Acquire and Develop Property Located on Shoal Line Boulevard for Additional Boat Trailer Parking at Hernando Beach Boat Ramp to Accommodate Population Growth.
County Attorney Garth Coller explained that the item being considered by the board on this date is “Has there been sufficient growth in Hernando County, both in terms of local users and outside users to require additional parking in that area?”
The commission voted 5-0 to agree that the area’s growth meets the dual rational nexus test, and that additional parking is needed.
The dual rational nexus test is defined in Florida case law as:
The local government must demonstrate a reasonable connection, or rational nexus, between:
• the need for additional capital facilities and the growth in population generated by the subdivision; and
• the expenditures of the funds collected and the benefits accruing to the subdivision
– Hollywood, Inc. v. Broward County, 431 So.2d 606 (Fla. 4th DCA 1983)
A 5-0 consensus was reached for the next step, to instruct staff to prepare a 180-day feasibility study contract, stipulating that the land will be studied to find if it meets the the county’s needs. If, after the 180 day period, it is determined that the area will not be sufficient, the county has no other responsibility for the land.
County Aquatics Director Keith Kolasa displayed an aerial map of the area in question, to illustrate the property being considered for the additional boat trailer parking. The southernmost property is an acute-triangle shaped plat, with Shoal Line Boulevard and Petit Lane bordering the equal sides of the triangle. Directly north, with Shoal Line Boulevard providing the only road access, is the adjacent parcel, both of which total 4.03 acres.
Additional roadways are also planned for the area. Commissioner Wayne Dukes reported that this expansion has been planned for six years, “it’s been planned multiple times, and there were no funds, because in the beginning, the legal office said we couldn’t use the impact fees. Things have changed.” Dukes described trying to navigate Calienta Street while it is lined with boat trailers as “dangerous,” and approves of the additional trailer parking.
The commissioners discussed the possibility of also constructing roadways, one which would connect Calienta Street to Shoal Line Boulevard, which would eliminate the currently difficult left-turn, particularly while towing a trailer.
INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THE AGENDA PACKET
"Hernando County currently has a grand total of 135 boat trailer parking spaces at the various parking facilities on the County’s Gulf Coast. County records demonstrate boat registrations have increased from 9,513 in 2008 to 9,937 in 2017, an increase of 424 vessels or an increase of 4.5%. During the same time frame, the countywide population has grown by 10.3% from 164,908 to 181,878>. Also, during this same period of 2008 to 2017, the County has not added any new boat trailer parking facilities/spaces at any of the locations on the County’s Gulf Coast.
"There have been numerous complaints made by citizens at various BOCC meetings pursuant to the lack of adequate parking facilities and spaces for boat trailer parking at the County’s parks and boat ramps on the Gulf Coast. The need for additional boat trailer parking facilities/space is indeed the result of both population growth and boat registration growth in Hernando County.
"The addition of 4.03 acres of boat trailer parking at the intersection of Shoal Line Boulevard, Petit Lane and Calienta Street will accrue definite benefits to the properties upon which the Parks and Recreation Impact Fees were imposed. Staff is of the opinion that due to the County’s population growth and growth in boat registrations, it is sufficient to meet the “dual rational nexus test” for use of the County’s Parks and Recreation Impact Fees to acquire the 4.03 acres of property identified above and the subsequent development of such for additional boat trailer parking.
"The financial impact of this action will be $475,000. The funds for this acquisition are available in the County’s Parks and Recreation Impact Fees Budget Reserve - Capital Improvement for Park Districts 1, 2, 3, and 4."
Also included in the packet were citizen email correspondence indicating their opposition to the property acquisition for additional parking.
M. Marino of Hernando Beach writes, “The boat ramp and channels are already at maximum capacity and congested. Adding more parking does not alleviate that problem, it just worsens it. “