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Developer faces battle with plan for canal

Published February 20, 2007


HUDSON - A multimillion-dollar canal to the Gulf of Mexico looks set to be the first major hurdle for developers behind SunWest Harbourtowne, a 2,300-acre proposal to develop a limestone mine on Hudson's coast.

For the developer, Sun West Acquisition Corp., money is a concern.

Sun West needs as much as $6-million to dredge the 2 1/2-mile, 10-foot-deep channel, said top Sun West executives R. Victor Taglia and Robert Carpenter.

The company is searching for money but is running out of luck at state and federal levels, executives said Monday.

"The channel drives this project," Carpenter said. "The county has pentup demand for public access to deep water."

But for environmentalists, the canal represents a battleground over the sea grass that lines Hudson's coastal marshes and supports its rich ecosystem.

Sun West's proposal calls for 2,900 homes, a golf course, a 250-room hotel and convention center, and 33 acres of stores, scattered around five brilliant-blue lakes carved out by limestone mining.


Thrift shop hearing to be held later

WESLEY CHAPEL - A hearing on a proposed Salvation Army thrift store on State Road 54 in Wesley Chapel has been delayed until March 15 in New Port Richey. Pasco County's Development Review Committee had been scheduled to consider the charity's plan Thursday. The project has triggered neighborhood complaints that the store would not fit the area.


Sunrise developers seek more time

BROOKSVILLE - Developers of Sunrise, the largest subdivision proposed in Hernando County in more than 30 years, have asked for more time to answer a long list of planning questions from the county.

The County Commission was due to meet Thursday to decide whether to approve the subdivision as a development of regional impact, a designation that applies to projects in Hernando with more than 1,000 houses.

Sunrise, which is planned for more than 4,800 residential units, as well as space for stores, offices and restaurants, is within a 4,800-acre planned development district near the interstate.


Necropsy performed on manatee in Ohio

INVERNESS - A necropsy has been performed on Willoughby, a Florida manatee that died Thursday at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio, but complete results are not expected for two to three weeks, according to a zoo spokesman.

For weeks, the zoo staff had tried almost everything to save Willoughby.

An oxygen tent, a feeding tube and around-the-clock care from zoo veterinarians were still not enough.

Willoughby and another manatee were transferred from Homosassa Springs to Ohio in October 2005.

At that time, hopes were high that the transfer of the manatees to Columbus would help manatee keepers finally get to the bottom of the troubling papillomavirus which has plagued the park's manatees and kept them in quarantine for years.

[Last modified February 20, 2007, 00:42:56]

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