Regarding your frightening article about Sprawl…Inevitable:
I am terribly disappointed in County Commissioner Stacy White. Mr. White, there were two people who voted no despite “the wording” of the comprehensive plan.
Commissioner White, you and the county hold meetings with county residents about “changes” and “needs” and “comprehensive plans.” You or the county says “we are worried,” “my hands are tied,” or “there is nothing we can do.” Sir, you and the other commissioners could have voted NO. The bottom line is that power and profits are far more important than food growing, natural habitats, air and water quality, and open spaces. Defunct orange groves are probably not being repurposed for agricultural use because owners expect a financial windfall.
I propose that the county forget about showy comprehensive plans. Simply require that to change any piece of land designated for agricultural and/or environmental use there must be a mitigation permit. This permit should cover 50 percent of the costs to county taxpayers for schools, expansion of utilities, widening roads, and adding interstate interchanges. The land use change should also have strict habitat and water conservation provisions. And further this permit should be paid before one shovel touches the land. The developers should get their own financing for the permit. No government subsidies.
Since you could only vote one way, it appears large land developers are taking this county for a ride. The developers have already created density havoc for people. Now they want to “develop” zoning-protected agricultural and natural lands.
Clearly the commissioners don’t have a vision of how seriously their decisions will impact the environmental stability for generations to come. If the commissioners won’t protect the county’s land use, maybe the voters should be allowed to vote on life-changing zoning permits.
Sheri Lucas, Sun City Center
P.S. The county should consider re-zoning all the declining malls for density housing.