Lisa MacNeil

Changes To Short Term Rental Ordinance

At the October 13, 2020 regular meeting, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) held the first public hearing to consider amending an ordinance that eliminates the ‘Resort Residential Overlay District,’ which planning and zoning director Ron Pianta explained is not used within the county anyway. The ordinance would also change the ‘resort dwelling’ definition “to exclude a dwelling permitted in a residential district used for a short-term rental specifically licensed and regulated by the State.”

Bayou Drive Repair Grant Funding Increase Request

The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) at the October 13, 2020 regular meeting approved the request for an additional $280,000 in funding for the Bayou Drive Repair and Restoration Project.

The additional funding was requested from the US Department of Treasury via the Grant Solutions Amendment system (RESTORE Act), and it has been approved for an increase in funding of $280,000 to cover the increased construction costs due to unanticipated erosion. The total project cost at this time is $737,500.

HCSD clears teacher in controversy

On September 2, 2020, a photo of a presentation slide containing a quote regarding “Black Lives Matter” surfaced from a Hernando High School U.S. Government classroom, sparking a School Board investigation based on the concern that Dr. Christina Torres-Velazquez was sharing her personal political views and beliefs to students. Torres-Velazquez has been cleared of the allegations by the school district.

Audubon, Challenger K-8 program insuring future pollination of native plants

Photography by Alice Mary Herden


We caught up with Hernando Audubon Society President Marcie Clutter.  Clutter and a group of volunteers which included members of the Hernando Native Plant Society, Hernando Master Gardeners, and the Hernando Audubon Society planted 8 cubic feet of native Florida plants during an Audubon Day event at Challenger K8. 

Final Budget Hearing: Ad valorem tax revenues up, tax rate down

Hernando County Commissioners passed the final budget for the fiscal year 2021 at the September 22, 2020 final budget hearing.  Three resolutions were passed alongside the budget itself, notably the resolution to adopt a lower millage rate countywide.

The other resolutions that were passed unanimously via a roll-call vote were to adopt millage rates for MSTUs and MSBUs, which are both unchanged.

Public nuisance fines now attached to tax bill

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At the regular Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting on September 22, 2020, the board passed an ordinance establishing a new method to collect public nuisance fines that goes into effect on October 1, 2020. 

Such liens will be imposed through a non-ad-valorem assessment on a property owner’s tax bill in the following year.

Septic to Sewer District A, Phase 1 Approved

At the regular meeting on September 22, 2020, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) approved a grant application for Septic to Sewer conversion.  This first phase will convert septic systems to central sewer service in a specific area of Weeki Wachee called District A. Roughtly half of Distrtict A or 510 properties will be converted.  The total estimated cost for the project is $16,500,000, divided into $3,300,000 each year over the course of 5 years.  Utilities Director Gordon Onderdonk explained the request for grant funding through various methods.

Doctors Mark Denner and David Miller of Access Medical Group Retire

Doctors Mark Denner and David Miller, both Doctors of Osteopathy (DO) thank their patients and staff as they plan their retirement.  “They have made it not only possible, but enjoyable,"  the doctors remarked.

Visiting with the two doctors in their office with an underwater mural spanning floor to ceiling, and on three walls, Dr. Miller said, “No one’s stressed in Key West.”  The building’s architecture is of the same design.