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First, RV resort. Now, homes

Century Realty Funds needs a zoning change to build another county project: a 400-home, age-restricted community.

By CATHERINE E. SHOICHET
Published January 20, 2006


HERNANDO - The developer behind the proposed luxury RV resort off State Road 44 E has submitted plans for another Citrus County project.

Century Realty Funds is proposing a 400-home, age-restricted community on 100 acres off State Road 200, according to papers filed at the county's Community Development office this week.

The project's entrance would be east of U.S. 41 and south of County Road 491, across from E Olive Lane.

To build the project, the developer needs the county to change the site's zoning from low density residential to medium density residential. That will require an amendment to the county's comprehensive plan and the land development code.

Century Companies vice president for development Neil Combee said Thursday that the developer was still trying to decide whether the project would consist of manufactured homes or conventional single-family homes.

The site's zoning allows for mobile homes.

"We just think the market would work either way," Combee said.

The gated community would include a 12,000-square-foot clubhouse, a swimming pool, tennis courts, shuffleboard facilities and a horseshoe pit.

Combee said the developer was originally drawn to the site because it allowed manufactured homes. And the area is an attractive spot for new developments, he said.

"We love Citrus County. We think it's a great place, and certainly a great place for active adult communities," Combee said.

Ray Moats, another Century vice president, said pricing would depend on what type of housing units the company decides to construct.

In other similar developments initiated by the company, Moats said, single-family homes start in the upper $100,000 range. Manufactured homes generally average $65,000, he said.

Lots would be about 50 feet wide, he said, and between 90 and 100 feet deep.

Low-density residential allows for two units per acre or up to six units per acre in a planned development. Medium-density residential allows for six units per acre or up to eight units per acre in a planned development.

According to property appraiser records, the land is owned by River Oaks Properties Inc. and was assessed at $456,000 in 2005. Citrus Hills developer Steve Tamposi is listed as the company's president on the application on file with the county.

In September, Century Realty Funds submitted plans for an RV park on 207 acres off SR 44 E 3 miles east of Inverness.

The company originally proposed 810 pads, but scaled back to 499 units in response to neighborhood and county concerns about density.

County staffers recommended approval of the project. But it has drawn criticism from local homeowners associations and the TOO FAR environmental group.

And in December, the Planning and Development Review Board voted 5-2 against the zoning change Century requested.

The RV park proposal is slated to go before the County Commission for the first time Tuesday in a workshop.

Century is also the developer of Walden Woods, a manufactured home community on U.S. 19 less than a mile south of U.S. 98.

The company's proposed SR 200 development was mentioned in a November memo from Community Development director Chuck Dixon. It that memo, which described large developments in various stages of the county pipeline, Dixon also mentioned two nearby projects off U.S. 41 in Hernando: the 950-unit Felicia Station project and the 980-unit Oak Lakes Project.

Combee said the other projects are not affiliated with the Century development, but the group is working with the county to help fund a study of water and wastewater service in the area.

The Planning and Development Review Board and the County Commission will discuss and ultimately vote on the proposed SR 200 development at workshops and hearings. But senior planner Joanna Coutu said those meetings have not yet been scheduled because a traffic study for the project has not been submitted.

Coutu said county staffers have not yet started to review the project.

Catherine E. Shoichet can be reached at cshoichet@sptimes.com or 860-7309.