BROOKSVILLE - Hernando planning and zoning commissioners Monday cleared the way for the Arc Nature Coast to expand operations at its Neff Lake Road site and add a six-person group home for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The board unanimously voted to recommend a special exception use permit for the Arc, which recently obtained a $325,000 state grant for the expansion.
The only issue broached at the meeting was the possibility of increased flooding along Neff Lake Road due to construction. Deputy County Administrator Ron Pianta said any drainage issues would be addressed when development of the property begins.
Mark Barry, the Arc's executive director, said the Neff Lake home will complement his organization's four other group homes throughout the county. This one, though, would cater to people with more severe developmental disabilities and would be the only one that serves the eastside of Hernando County.
Barry said there have been no concerns from immediate neighbors and he doesn't anticipate any once the group home is operational.
The Spring Hill group homes are even closer to nearby homes and there have not been issues there, he said.
"We try to be good neighbors," Barry said.
Barry said the home will be built so that it will blend into the immediate area and will not have an institutional-type facade. It will also have a separate entrance from the administrative offices.
The first phase calls for construction of a 3,000-square-foot congregate care center for six residents to be built in 2014-15.