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Zephyrhills council says no to rezoning
It asks Nestle Water officials for more details about a proposed plant expansion.
By EBONY WINDOM, Times Correspondent
Published November 27, 2007
ZEPHYRHILLS - The biggest issue at Monday's City Council meeting was a presentation that was never made.
Representatives from Nestle Water North America Inc. came to City Hall, planning to present a proposal to rezone 6 acres of land and expand the plant where Zephyrhills brand water is produced.
After some discussion, the council denied the rezoning request, saying it needed more information.
Nestle representatives were asked to return with more details at the Dec. 10 meeting. The issue has been in discussion for the past three months, says city development director Todd Vande Berg.
If Nestle gets its way, it will get to add on a large truck parking lot. But that will take approval to rezone the land - which Nestle already owns - to industrial from residential.
Even though no presentation was made, the idea of an expanding plant got under the skins of several people living near the site.
One Zephyrhills resident, Zach Arnold, 55, says Nestle is too close for comfort. He lives on 21/2 acres near the plant, and at the meeting he said he is afraid that "the water plant is going to get bigger and bigger. All I'm doing is fighting for my heritage."
He also worried about water being taken from the area, bottled and sold around the country.
"We can't water our yards, but they can sell the water," he said after the meeting. "We really want this to stop. I don't even drink Zephyrhills bottled water."
In other business, the council also began a discussion of which roads were public and should be maintained by the city, and which roads fell under the classification of "private." That discussion will be continued at the next meeting, which is Dec. 10.