County reviews Land Development Code

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The Citrus County Commission today took another bite out of the Land Development Code apple.

Today was the second public workshop in the commission’s quest to get up to speed on the LDC. The first was the LDC Coastal public workshop on Nov. 17, 2017.

The commission was briefed on the provisions for managing growth by Citrus County Planning Director Mark Green as they are currently in the LDC, and today’s workshop centered around growth as it pertains to a number of areas, such as parking, expansion, zoning and construction. Interestingly, the commission was also challenged to provide for the future.

One of the future concerns, at least to the state, is what to do with electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles.

A proposed Senate Bill requires MPOs (Metropolitan Planning Organizations) to do something  once electric and autonomous vehicles make up at least 2 percent of total vehicles in the state. Commission Chairman Ron Kitchen said one of the issues for that class of vehicles is parking accommodation for of these types of vehicles, and said he wondered what a transition period would look like.

Noting that there has been an increase in building permits, Commissioner Brian Coleman asked Green if there was enough manpower to handle the increased workload. Green said the department was busy, but would increase manpower if the workload grew more. “We’re keeping up,” Green said.

During open-to-the-public, Dan Hillard, Lecanto.  “They’re (businesses and people are) coming, he said. “The question is, how are you going to deal with it. The term business is broad and somewhat vague, he said. He added that developers need infrastructure to guide the building process. He finished by saying that he supported a mixed-use concept when applying LDC provisions, and invited the commission to see what Greenville, S.C., did when they devised a growth plan.

Also during public comment, Sophia Diaz-Fonseca reminded commissioners that the LDC should include accommodations for the county’s historical and cultural identity. Diaz-Fonseca, who sits on the county historical society board, suggested that more historical markers, kiosks and other avenues might draw attention to historical sites along the county’s bike trails.

Commissioner Kitchen agreed, adding, “We’re talking about a sense of place.”