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Development code is too weak

Letters to the Editor
Published February 25, 2007


Re: To protect our trees, it's a good-sized stick Feb. 21 editorial

Somebody should pass along the commissioners' alleged newfound stomach for environmental protection to County Administrator John Gallagher and the Development Review Committee since it is they and not the commissioners who approve the day to day development that is systematically destroying this county's environment.

Pasco's Land Development Regulations allow destruction of essential habitat and other environmentally sensitive land as long as the other regulators involved, usually the Army Corps of Engineers or Southwest Florida Water Management District, permit it. In other words, this county accepts the lowest standards any other agency will permit instead of taking a pro-active stance to give increased protection to our local environment.

And unfortunately, as any regular reader of the Times knows, the Army Corps' willingness to devastate this state's wetlands is well documented. At one point the Army Corps went multiple years without denying a single application to destroy wetlands. So the commissioners can cry alligator tears for a tree here and a tree there - not coincidentally after there has been bad press - but if they were really serious about protecting Pasco County's environment, they could do it with the stroke of a pen by putting some teeth into our Land Development Code.

Personally, I think it is time for the voters of this county to demand they do just that. Of course, such action would infuriate the local development crowd, which I suspect is why our code is so weak when it comes to environmental concerns to begin with. Let our commissioners know which side of this debate you come down on, and then watch their votes to see if your interests are being served. By policing their votes and being willing to throw the rascals out is the only way we can reasonably expect change.

Steve Byle, Leisure Beach


Enough water for new buildings?

According to the people, whose business it is to know just how much water there is, we don't have enough water now and we're in extremely dry conditions. So dry that new water restrictions have been issued for the public.

If there's any truth in this, how is it that hundreds of new homes, condos and shopping centers are being allowed to be built? Where's the water for them supposed to come from?

To put it very simply, if there's not enough water for us now, where's all this water supposed to come from after the new construction is built?

Harold W. Graham, Bayonet Point


Build thrift shop in Land O'Lakes

Dear Salvation Army,

Recently, I've read that your plans of opening up a thrift store on County Road 54 in Wesley Chapel have been met with vociferous opposition from residents in a nearby community. While it is unfortunate that your organization, based on evangelical Christian principles, is having trouble trying to build a store in a community named for an evangelical minister, I propose a solution:

Come to Land O'Lakes. Yes, we have our nice gated communities where some residents might object to your store in our midst, but give us a chance! After all, we've got a Goodwill store that sits right across the parking lot from one of the nicest restaurants in the region! Limousines and beat-up junkers use the same entrance and exit to the center, much like humans in their earthly journey in and out of this world. So I think this area would be a suitable location for your work as well.

Yes, we've got a lot of nudists around here, which might not make the ideal business model for your clothing department, but on the other hand these fine folks have to have someplace to donate their clothes once they move here from more pretentious places. Land O'Lakes is not a very pretentious place. In fact, one Wesley Chapel leader was quoted in the paper a while back saying that it was the "dumpiest part of Pasco County ." How can you despoil such a place?

So dump your project here. It pains us to see our Wesley Chapel brethren so distraught at the prospect of your presence in their community. Your organization operates in more than 100 countries, including Islamic cultures. Your soldiers have rushed into disaster-hit areas before anyone else had a chance to react. Your good folks have faced intolerable situations all over this miserable globe. Come to Land O'Lakes and redeem us long-suffering denizens.

Charlie Reese, Lutz


[Last modified February 25, 2007, 07:26:19]

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