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Citrus Slices

By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 17, 2002


Activist shines light on developer's courtship

Rezoning requests have been likened to many things, but to a courtship?

That's how Homosassa activist Cindy Cino described the process last week when the County Commission heard a developer's request to rezone two 9-acre tracts on U.S. 19 for a supercenter just south of Crystal River.

Developer Realti Corp. is wooing the county with perks, such as an access road behind the site and conservation areas for neighboring wetlands. But once the developer wins his rezoning request, Cino said, "We have no guarantees of what will happen in the future."

Clark Stillwell, the developer's attorney, got the picture. "I've never heard it compared to a marriage proposal," Stillwell said, grinning. "But I guess Cindy's answer is "no.' "

Stillwell then joked about resolving the questions about the project before the July 9 vote, so that he and Cino can come to the commission with "hands joined."

"Not without a prenuptial," Cino shouted from the audience.

NEVER MIND: When a black briefcase was found in an aisle of the Homosassa Kash n' Karry about 9 a.m. last Monday, the Sheriff's Office responded immediately. Because officials feared the suitcase contained a bomb, the store was evacuated and the bomb squad was called.

Deputies became even more concerned after the briefcase was X-rayed and a gun was found inside, sheriff's spokeswoman Ronda Hemminger Evan said.

But this gun didn't fire bullets; it was a pricing gun, the kind used to place price stickers on food items. One of the vendors had left it behind, Evan said.

The store reopened about 10:40 a.m.

-- Times staff writer Bridget Hall Grumet and Carrie Johnson contributed to this report.

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