Coastal engineer Don Lacey, on behalf of Bantam Realty, appeared before The Board of County Commissioners to propose the rezoning of 25 acres of agricultural land into a “Combined Planned Development Project.”
The rezoning was recommended by the Planning and Zoning Commission. The intent of the presentation was to showcase the potential for a farm-to-table restaurant utilizing the local farmlands. The parcel being looked at currently sits in the Airport Planned Development District near the intersection of 41 and Powell and allows everything except residential construction.
The parcel of land is located on what was originally a nursery, just west of Broad Street, and the initial concept shown to the Board looks to keep as many of the older trees on the property as possible- even using one for a potential tree house.
As presented by Lacey, the restaurant would emphasize the natural beauty of the rural area surrounding it. But in order to appeal to the Tampa Bay crowd and to bolster Hernando County’s tourism, the high end farm-to-table restaurant would not be the only thing built on the land.
Although nothing is set in stone yet, and talks are still being held with engineers, utilities, et al, a bed and breakfast may also be built on the property as the view to a local lake is next to none. Lacey also suggested the possibility of artisanal shops being opened near the restaurant.
After no citizens came up to argue against the possible rezoning, the discussion was brought back to the Board.
The support for what Lacey was proposing was universal. Chairman Wayne Dukes reminisced about growing up in Hernando County and argued that something like this restaurant would bring back a touch that may have been lost through the years, and has the potential to appeal to a wide range of people. Commissioners Champion and Allocco both showed their support of this proposal, stating that Hernando County needs something like this, that this would ‘exude the flair’ being promoted. It was also mentioned by Allocco that even though this is ‘the Adventure Coast, [there are] some beautiful places in the middle of [the] county’ that need to be taken advantage of.
After the motion was made by Commissioner Nicholson, the proposal was passed unanimously.