The county’s code compliance division has issued a notice of violation against a developer who cleared land without a permit on an 85-acre plot on Citrus Avenue north of Crystal River.
A hearing date is set for December 15 at 9:00 am in Room 166 of the Lecanto Government Center, 3600 W. Sovereign Path.
Scott McKinney, director of Citrus County Code Compliance, said a code officer scoured the property on Wednesday and saw what he believed to be an “under-brushing,” where brush is removed rather than scraping the dirt. down to the bare earth below. Brush clearing usually involves mowing and mulching equipment.
This kind of work is legal, McKinney said.
The December hearing must report on the work done before the notice was issued and any other removal of trees over 4 inches in diameter.
McKinney said the county could not issue “stop work” orders and that the owner would be held responsible for the violation, especially if it continues.
This is the same property that made headlines last June when a developer requested a zoning change on the property in hopes of building the Crystal River Luxury RV Resort.
This resort reportedly included up to 600 RV parks, a swimming pool, golf cart rentals, a bar and grill, a basketball court, and walking trails.
Neighbors objected to the complex, saying it was inconsistent with the neighborhood, which is heavily forested and bordered on three sides by residential streets.
The Citrus County Planning and Development Commission (PDC) unanimously rejected the request.
All of this is already seen for Robert Hathorn, whose house on Tom Mason Drive is right next to the current clearing.
It appears that five or six acres have already been cleared, he said. What purpose? No one, including the county, knows that.
Efforts to reach the company whose name appeared on the notice of violation – IDLETUESDAY LLC – were unsuccessful.
“My neighbors and I are concerned that this belligerent group may have razed the entire 85 acres by then and will simply pay the fine,” Hathorn said.
Needless to say, Hathorn will be at the December hearing, along with the neighbors.
“I would be willing to bet there will be a huge turnout,” he said.