Keith Briley, Hernando city planner

Final plat approval for St. Ives subdivision Sections C and D gained the nod of Hernando aldermen Tuesday night after being tabled on at least two prior occasions and delayed due to weather.

Section B was approved back in November.

Residents showed up again to question developers about promises made to protect nearby residents to the south by a landscape buffer and a much debated fence, a provision residents maintain was adopted when the city annexed the subdivision from DeSoto County on June 7, 2006.

Residents were also concerned about roads being torn up in the subdivision by subsequent development.

Ward 5 Alderman Cathy Brooks said when workers are there nearby streets are very congested and there is erosion around the oval area in the subdivision due to truck traffic and other factors. She read from a list of residents' concerns.

"Heavy trucks will mean repairs need to be made," Brooks said. "What will be the condition of roads two to five years from now?"

Ward 2 Alderman Andrew Miller said the maintenance bond posted by the developer Brian Hill needed to be sufficient to make repairs and ensure that roads in the subdivision do not deteriorate further.

City Attorney Kenneth Stockton said the city could demand that Hill build a construction entrance to divert truck traffic off existing streets.

Susan Gooch Harris, whose elderly parents Steve and Jo Ann Gooch live just south of St. Ives, expressed concern about erosion and drainage problems from Section B.

Harris was concerned about a ditch bordering the southern property line of St. Ives and said she was distressed that children might fall into the ditch or go onto her parents' property.

Harris said when the city annexed the property, the city annexed the PUD as it was approved by the county, which included a cedar fence running the length of the southern border of the property. Harris presented a copy of the 2006 Board of Supervisors minutes. Harris said there was also a 15-foot landscaped buffer proposed.

Keith Briley, Director of Planning for the City of Hernando, said that developers have agreed to a 60-foot buffer as common open space on the southern end of the property as well as retention area in close proximity to the ditch.

Briley said the City of Hernando accepted it as was previously approved by the DeSoto County Board of Supervisors.

Stockton said he could not recall mention of a fence since it had been annexed by the city but both Stockton and Mayor Tom Ferguson wished to see an actual copy of Board of Supervisors minutes when it was approved by the county.

Stockton said if a fence was required, the City of Hernando would not have eliminated that provision.

"I don't think you'll find us doing away with any fencing requirements," Stockton said.

"It's my understanding when the city annexed the PUD, they annexed it as it was approved (by the Board of Supervisors)," Briley said in a subsequent conversation Friday. A hydraulic study was also required, according to Briley.

Hill said Tuesday he could not recall a fence but "if the fence is in there, I will build it."

Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.

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