West Cardinal Lane intersection 2021

This aerial view of the West Cardinal Street intersection with the Suncoast Parkway looks from north to south. The contractor informed state officials they are prepared to open the portion between U.S. 98 and Cardinal Street in October.

There is no question the landscape along West Cardinal Street in Homosassa will look vastly different once the Suncoast parkway interchange opens in 2022.

The Citrus County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) know growth will come and want to ensure it is managed and not haphazard. The last thing they want is for that road to become a haven for gas stations, fast food restaurants and scattered strip malls.

County commissioners will host a public hearing at 5:05 p.m. Tuesday, April 13, to consider adoption of the Cardinal Street Management Area (CSMA). If approved, it will be sent to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and other state agencies for review.

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Simply put, the CSMA provides a blueprint for growth and allows for input from residents and community leaders, as well as commissioners.

The plan would transform Cardinal into a  mixed-use development with 10- and 20-acre minimum buildable lots to go with the management plan. If successful, Cardinal will become a mini town center.

The plan also creates a Cardinal Mixed-Use (CMU) zoning classification to encourage combinations of development that could result in “walking” communities where homes, shopping and trails are all compacted.

The hearing will be at the Citrus County Courthouse, 110 N. Apopka Ave., Inverness.

Animal shelter hearing; regular meeting

The board will host a public workshop at 9 a.m. at the courthouse to discuss design and costs for a new Citrus County animal shelter.

The regular county commission meeting starts at 1 p.m. Among the agenda items the board will consider:

• The use of CARES funds for the initial set-up and support of a Citrus One-Stop Recovery and Economic (CORE) center.

Funding would allow for the recruitment and hiring of a center director through the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce.

• Selling the county-owned 350-acre Betz Farm property on North Turkey Oak Drive in Crystal River. A staff report said the parcel is “ideally suited for development” and now might be the time to seriously consider selling because of the hot real estate market.

The county has had several purchase inquiries.

The county has owned the Betz Farm property for some time and it is ideally suited for development, according to the county.

To view the agendas for both public hearings and the regular meeting, visit https://bit.ly/2Rsv4wS and scroll down to the April 13 links.

Contact Chronicle reporter Michael D. Bates at 352-563-3205 or mbates@chronicleonline.com. To see more of his stories, visit  tinyurl.com/y6kb23vv.