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Letters to the Editors

Citrus Park Village will thrive under master plan


© St. Petersburg Times
published May 3, 2002

Many things have been written about the Citrus Park Village Master Plan. I am a local resident and a member of a large family that has been in Citrus Park for 45 years. In talking to our friends and neighbors, these are my observations.

More than 100 Citrus Park property owners met at Citrus Park Elementary School last week to participate in the final set of public meetings prior to the adoption of the Citrus Park Village Master Plan. Hillsborough County desired to create a zoning overlay district or zoning plan for the Citrus Park neighborhood. The plan is the product of public comments and workshops under the guidance of the county Planning and Growth Management Department and consultations from the U.R.S. Corp.

Last week's meeting revealed an overwhelming, growing consensus among property owners to support the Traditional Neighborhood Development Concept with a three-story option. The three-story option was vital to increase the square footage of residential units. This will encourage upscale housing, which will also bring upscale business. This will attract families seeking a planned community that offers leisurely shopping, sidewalk cafes and local employment opportunities.

This Citrus Park plan has been the result of a two-year process. As a local resident, I am extremely pleased. This plan allows us to retain our family atmosphere featuring the schools, churches and ballpark while setting new areas for public enhancement and use. It is no secret that certain areas need to be "cleaned up," and new development will target them, protecting the property rights we enjoy now. This will improve our quality of life and build a new future for our children.

Citrus Park is not a retirement community, but a neighborhood for all ages. We need to protect against further unplanned development. We have the cleanest and safest mall in the county and a good public school system. We can build a village downtown area all the county will envy.

Two more meetings are scheduled for the public: on May 7 and May 21. They will serve to discuss new road connections, traffic calming and any other concerns.

The local residents and property owners have stepped up in the end to influence this process. Please come out and get involved, but know that this plan designed for Citrus Park is the right thing. Please support the Citrus Park Village Master Plan among your neighbors and to the County Commission.

I believe a special thanks should go to Lisa Kramer, a senior planner from the county, and to Steve Luce from the U.R.S. Corp. Their effort and work has always been both professional and constant.
-- Rick Wolfe, Citrus Park

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