Today's Letters: Questions need answers, not cash
By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published April 18, 2007
Re: Road-funding figures hazy April 8
Okay, so now Sierra Properties wants to "buy" the vote of the Hernando County Commission. Robert Sierra says he'll give $12- million, twice as much as he's supposed to.
Even if his disputed numbers are correct, who cares? Is this about money? Where is our sense of values? Isn't the comprehensive plan worth more than the paper it was written on? Why can't Sierra play by the rules and go buy land where he's allowed to build? There's plenty of it. Is it just because his home isn't in the middle of it?
Is this simply Sierra's megalomaniac dream and we're just playing in it? And, specifically, can't folks in the Spring Lake area count on the comprehensive plan?
What about their lifestyles? Just because two-thirds of the residents of Hernando live in Spring Hill, does the whole county have to look like that mess? Does misery love company? And what justification can there possibly be for "needing" 1,700 more homes when there's only a dozen occupied houses out of a thousand in Southern Hills (the other "high-end" development)?
What about the worsening water shortages? What about traffic? Does the whole county have to be gridlocked? How ignorant can we get? Where have our values gone, and where is our backbone?
This is like a sex-change operation - a permanent decision! Those who say growth is inevitable need to redo their math. With rising costs of fuel and historically low interest rates, moving 60 miles from Tampa doesn't make economic sense now, and won't again in our lifetimes. It's ironic that after literally being the flashpoint of the new super-majority requirement, Hickory Hill is exempt from it.
Even if I were a spineless commissioner, there are too many open questions here to put my name on anything this important that is so borderline. I say to Sierra, "Come back in 20 (or more) years after the I-75/SR 50 buildout is complete and see how well received you are."
Jim Mastro, Brooksville
Re: Hernando Times front page April 14
Accident photo was in poor taste
It's hard to hold the Times to a higher standard when I take a look at this front page.
A huge, tasteless photograph of the mangled ball of shrapnel left over from an accident involving a sheriff's deputy and a flatbed truck. Do you think family members and friends intend to clip this one and save it in loving memory of that deputy?
Please, don't pull this again. Nobody wants to see dirty laundry, especially this graphic in nature. Take a moment to ask yourself why you pursued journalism as a career, and then tell me why that picture made it on the front page of your newspaper.
Bill Wilde, Spring Hill
Don't miss out on Hickory Hills
My wife and I are tired of reading the negative letters concerning why the proposed Hickory Hill development should not be allowed. We moved to the Spring Lake area because of its natural beauty. We approve of and support the Hickory Hill development because we have seen the plans, and it is a development of natural beauty unlike any we have seen in Florida.
There was a recent comment in a letter to the editor that said growth in Hernando County is an uncertain assumption considering current stagnant house sales. We're not sure if this person has ever traveled south of Hernando County, but take a look down the road a bit. Let's get real. Growth is inevitable. With growth comes housing developments. This county should be thankful that a property such as Hickory Hill has chosen to build here.
As former residents of South Florida, we have seen the development of wide open spaces. These developments consist of homes that need large house numbers in order for the residents to know which home they live in, and you have to watch your weight in order to fit between your home and your neighbors'.
This type of development may be what we will see down the road in the proposed area if Hickory Hill is declined.
We truly should be grateful that Sierra Properties has presented our area with a one-of-a-kind development.
Let's not miss out on this opportunity.
Patrick and Beth Crenshaw, Spring Lake
Re: Speeders must be stopped, arrested April 12 letter to the editor
Closer look may alter perceptions
In response to the negative remarks from Bruce Jolly pertaining to our deputies and our Sheriff Richard Nugent, I will offer the following advice:
Make an effort and attend one of the Citizens Academy classes, so that you will have a better understanding of our Sheriff's Office.
Once you have completed the academy, sign up for a ride-along with a deputy, and I am sure that after the experience your negative feelings will change.
I feel that not only do we have a dedicated sheriff, but also a group of professional, dedicated deputies, and a staff that merits our respect and applause.
Eddie Velazquez, Spring Hill
Re: Planners approve Wal-Mart site April 10
There's plenty of shopping around
Do the county commissioners ever say no? Our taxes and homeowners insurance rates are ever-increasing, schools are overcrowded, we are only permitted to water our lawns once a week and long-term residents are faced with losing their homes through eminent domain due to lack of planning and foresight. This has to stop.
I cannot believe the county approved a fourth Wal-Mart Supercenter across the street from a residential development. Out of the three Wal-Mart stores in Hernando County, this will be the only store within a stone's throw away from a residential development. I'm sure the residents of Pristine Place and Suncoast Villas/Apartments would not mind if this commercial parcel was used for a restaurant, but not a Wal-Mart Supercenter.
This store will be not only an eyesore to these residents, but it also will lead to inconvenient road construction for expansions to accommodate the heavy traffic. This means spending more money. I cannot even imagine the traffic one will endure trying to get out of their own developments.
What about the parents whose children go to Powell Middle School? Dropoff and pick-up times will be a nightmare. I wouldn't be surprised if the neighboring Publix goes out of business.
Wal-Mart is monopolizing our county. We do not need four Wal-Mart supercenters.
I'm sure the majority of us do not mind the short drive to State Road 50, U.S. 19 or U.S. 41 to do our shopping.
M. Kell, Spring Hill
Spring Lake may rival Spring Hill
I've read Sierra Properties holds elaborate catered dinners, providing information on its proposed Hickory Hill development and trying to be a "good neighbor." I live in the area, just south of Spring Lake, and I've never been contacted by the developer. Neither have my neighbors. I guess what we think doesn't matter.
Even so, why anyone would approve the Hickory Hill development - unless there was something in it for them - is a mystery to me. It seems proponents are business owners or Realtors who most definitely would benefit, or nearby property owners who think they will benefit.
Let me tell you this: Spring Lake most definitely will not benefit from Hickory Hill. Let's be real. The development will not draw big businesses. Residents will be transplants who either will be retired or commute to work in the Tampa area. The only job growth here will be county-paid jobs to accommodate the need for more schools and teachers, law enforcement and fire services - jobs that we taxpayers must fund.
Proponents say traffic will not be a problem. That's a joke. Spring Lake Highway alone will be a complete mess. I live off Church Road. Once Hickory Hill is in and an access road from the development is dumped out onto Church, the quiet country life we residents now enjoy will no longer exist. Also, the cost for needed roadway improvements will fall on the taxpayers' shoulders.
The most important reason why Hickory Hill should not be allowed is because Hernando County's comprehensive plan does not allow it. If Hickory Hill is allowed to exist, then what is the purpose of the plan? It will open a door to allow other developments to come, and the county will no longer be able to stop them.
The Spring Lake area definitely is one of the most beautiful areas in Florida. I completely understand why people would love to live here. But these people here only have dollar signs in their eyes. Sadly, it's not just the developer; some are longtime residents (or their heirs) drooling at the chance to possibly reap the financial benefits of selling out.
The result of this greed is Spring Lake will become another ugly, unappealing suburb like Spring Hill, or even worse - west Pasco County.
Alan R. Day, Brooksville
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