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Today's Letters: Hickory Hill can blend with nature

Published April 19, 2007


I live and operate a commercial landscape business in Hernando County, and my family has done so for 30 years. The business has been good for us, and we enjoy the opportunity to enhance and beautify properties. Hernando County offers wonderful examples of how man and nature can blend together in harmony.

There have been many changes to the landscape industry in the past 30 years as we have become so aware of how important our water resource is and how we should conserve. The Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Program outlines ways we can plant smartly and water efficiently. As an industry and profession, our job is to learn how to make this appeal to the marketplace.

The proposed Hickory Hill project, which we strongly support, will use this conservation approach as part of its overall plan for a master planned community. They will implement the conservation measures, planting and design techniques and resource protection measures that are the key components of the movement to protect our environment. What troubles me is that the project could develop as a golf course under the current rural land use designation without having to make the commitments they are making to abide by Best Management Practices and protect wildlife corridors, if the current proposal is denied. It is completely possible that the Thomas property could develop as a golf course and it is irresponsible to assume it could not. When you look at the facts and accept that golf can be built on the ranch with or without Hickory Hill, then it only makes sense to allow Sierra Properties to develop golf in a responsible and controlled manner that protects the wildlife and the environment.

We ask the commissioners to approve Hickory Hill.

Nick Paff Jr., president

Paff Landscape Inc., Brooksville

Hickory Hill deserves support April 8 letter

Bambi, Thumper won't benefit

I find it beneficial to research the background of the people who are writing letters in support of the Hickory Hill development. This leads me to believe that most people in support of the project are backing it for financial gain. I believe that most of the homeowners living in the Spring Lake area want it to remain the peaceful rural community that it is today.

The actual landowner of the 50-acre property that Brenda Shawver-Mason cites lives on Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa. The Spring Lake property is not homesteaded and closely intersects with Hickory Hill Road. Just curious: investment property?

While I agree that "growth is inevitable," I strongly disagree with "a golf course community is compatible with surrounding small ranches and homes."

As responsible residents, it is our duty to do what we can to manage growth, not throw up our hands, give up and be conned by a developer.

We are glad Ms. Mason is a resident and votes, and hopefully will soon contribute to the improvements of our roads and schools.

Therefore, I urge the county commissioners to enforce the current zoning and deny the Hickory Hill development. That would be particularly attractive.

Furthermore, if you Google "golf courses Brooksville,FL" there are 55 golf courses within 24 miles.

Where are those tree-hugging, Greenpeace, PETA people when you really need them? Who's going to save Bambi and Thumper?

Deborah English, Brooksville

Volunteers are our quiet heroes

I would like to pay tribute to Hernando County's everyday heroes. This week (April 15-21) is National Volunteer Week and it is just a small way to say thank you to volunteers for all they do. It would not be possible for so many community organizations to provide their vital services to our residents without the countless hours worked by volunteers.

If you are not already a volunteer, think about what is important to you and ask how you can help. Just a few hours of your time can make such a difference. Won't you join these very special people and become a volunteer?

Volunteers of Hernando County, I salute you. You are the quiet heroes who keep us all going.

Joanne Schoch, Spring Hill

Consultant bows to one who paid

Let's see: Hernando County commissioners paid $100,000 (so far) of our tax dollars to a consultant to determine if the Spring Hill Fire Rescue District (and all fire districts) should come under county control. Why is there surprise that the employee (consultant) agrees with the employer (the commission)?

Spring Hill residents who pay for their municipal services benefits unit should determine if the fire board is abolished, not the county, which wants control of all our fire districts, paid and volunteer.

Judy Kasper, Hernando Beach

[Last modified April 18, 2007, 21:28:46]

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