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Letters to the Editors

Citrus Park plan pleases developers


© St. Petersburg Times
published May 19, 2002

I sure wish there was a Citrus Park Village master plan. We tried to have input into what the planners brought from downtown. We suggested places for a workable town center. We still have longitudinal sprawl. We asked for a two-story maximum and got a two-story minimum. We asked for traffic calming and got through traffic into the neighborhood.

Planners want a high-rise, high-density city in what have been family-oriented neighborhoods.

The most frightening part of the "plan"? All development will be decided by a small government staff. Citizens are losing property rights and handing a blank check to these people. Staffers will decide the kind of business and retail, how tall the buildings can be, which wetlands can be filled and which trees can be cut. There are no requirements for compatibility, no penalties for noncompliance. Neighbors lose their right to protest.

When the staff permitted the removal of 67 trees, one a 38-inch-wide oak at the Amoco/McDonald's at Gunn Highway and Citrus Park Drive, I was appalled. When they refused to enforce conditions put on the Publix complex at Gunn Highway and Sheldon Road, they lost the last of my trust.

We wanted a Citrus Park Village master plan. We didn't get it. We tried to have input; we were ignored. Developers like the plan. It gives them unlimited freedom to do whatever they want. The citizens have no protection if this plan is adopted.
-- Jean Carson
Citrus Park

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