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Saturday, Mar 28, 2015

Input sought as Kass Circle revitalization takes shape


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- There was no shortage of negative observations about the Kass Circle neighborhood during a February meeting to discuss a revitalization project.

More than 75 people attended and presented a host of ideas to improve the oldest neighborhood in Spring Hill.

"While the process of the workshop was positive overall, the residents for the most part had several very negative observations of their neighborhood," according to a summary report of that meeting. "Most felt that the area suffered from long-term neglect with the road system and neglect from the current property owners."

Residents will get another chance to tell the county what they want their neighborhood to look like during a second community meeting to discuss the Kass Circle Neighborhood Revitalization Project from 4-6:30 p.m. April 23 at the Hernando County Library, Spring Hill Branch, 9220 Spring Hill Drive.

Residents, business owners and property owners located in the vicinity of Kass Circle and Spring Hill Drive are invited to attend.

Some of the concerns raised during the February meeting included:

??The speed limit along Spring Hill Drive is too high and there are not enough crossing locations or traffic-calming devices to slow down motorists down

??There is poor lighting in the neighborhood and the lights at the Spring Hill Plaza shopping center should not be turned off at night

??The area could be safer for residents

??There is a downward trend in the tenant retention rate

??There needs to be wide sidewalks along Spring Hill Drive, which could accommodate cyclists and pedestrians

Many people said they would like to have some kind of open space set aside to host community events that could attract neighboring residents. They were also interested in a well-programmed community center, possibly next to this open space, that could provide family-oriented events and a friendlier atmosphere for shopping along Kass Circle.

The neighborhood dates back to 1967, when the Mackle Brothers first platted that community.

But county officials said the shopping center and surrounding area contains a hodgepodge of different zoning categories and there is a mix of commercial and multi-family uses.

There is no consistent vision for that part of Spring Hill, Hernando County planner Patricia McNeese said recently.

The planning department applied for and received a $20,000 grant from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to be used for the betterment of the Kass Circle area.

For more information about the April 23 meeting, contact McNeese at (352) 754-4057, ext. 28016.

(352) 544-5290

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