Today's Letters: Expect three weeks of gridlock

Published May 17, 2007

I reside in Palm Harbor and work in Tampa. I am a daily commuter on McMullen-Booth Road. I am astonished by the plan to close this roadway for three weeks to work on the railroad crossing.

Not maintaining this thoroughfare to daily commuters is a travesty. Requiring a detour onto U.S. 19, which itself is still under construction, is irresponsible. If you add 50, 000 drivers onto U.S. 19, there will be total gridlock.

This plan is totally unacceptable. These repairs should be addressed through some method of weekend or overnight closures.

As for taking three weeks, they repaired the entire overpass damaged by the fire in St. Petersburg in less time.

I hope the county commissioners have examined the impact this will have on their constituents.

William Jones, Palm Harbor

Changes erase course's identity

After how many renovations should a golf course quit advertising the original designer's name?

Take the Dunedin Country Club, for example. The original course was a Donald Ross design. But the Professional Golfers' Association used the property for their headquarters, and the transition started.

The sand traps and greens were modified, and again approximately 12 years ago. Trees were added through the years, but the major changes occurred over the past 20 to 25 years, started by a member who had influence and owned a nursery. Between the tree additions and work performed over the years to the sand traps and greens, the original Donald Ross design is almost unrecognizable.

It has been said that the back nine at Tarpon Springs Golf Course, a city-owned golf course, is more true to Donald Ross than the Dunedin Country Club.

Now, another renovation has begun.

I have been told that Donald Ross would roll over in his resting place if he could see what has taken place. It is no longer a Donald Ross course, except by name.

Bill Rodgers, Dunedin

Re: Wider roads met with owners' narrow vision editorial, April 22

Be thankful for checks on power

Your editorial supporting Clearwater running over the "little guy" on Clearwater Beach only tells half the story.

You are accurate in stating that businesses whose historic parking has been within the public right of way have no valid claim against the city.

The city has with cold impudence implemented a road project, the purpose of which is to eliminate small businesses along Coronado Drive.

No doubt the city's strategy will be effective. Sad and brutal for the little guy.

If some owners' vision is narrow, it is because they are wincing with pain.

What you failed to relate to your readers is that there is a whole other category of properties: those with vested parking and access rights.

The Hi Seas Motel is built according to a city-approved site plan that provides for eight onsite parking spaces and an access connection (driveway) to serve those spaces along Coronado Drive.

Under the city's code, the parking spaces, as well as the access connection, are considered nonconforming, but lawful.

North Miami Beach recently tried the same "curb warfare" on a motel as part of its redevelopment efforts.

The local circuit court and the state appellate court found that city's action to be an unconstitutional taking of the motel's seven lawful parking spaces.

We should all be grateful for the broader vision of the Constitution that checks the power of government, even if the Times is not.

As for the city warning people, my client was told by the city that the project would not affect his parking at the time he donated some land to help with the project.

Patrick T. Maguire Attorney, Clearwater

Your voice counts

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