drc.htm  August 14, 2005

Pasco Tribune -- Sunday, August 14, 2005 -- My View column on Pasco section of Tampa Tribune.

Quality, Not Quantity, Is Needed In East Pasco

 

 By RICHARD K. RILEY 

Growth in Pasco County is inevitable. But growth can be

controlled.

 The Pasadena project wants to build 1,642 units. The Prospect

project wants to build 653. These development proposals and

requests for high-density land uses are trying to make east

Pasco look like Pinellas, west Pasco and Wesley Chapel. We do

not have to accept this.

 County commissioners should accept the recommendations of their

staff that this is an inappropriate change and the projects are

designed for unacceptable growth.

 They should listen to those concerned that these proposals will

violate water quality, confuse storm drainage, destroy the

environment, clog traffic and insult the county's rural and

aesthetic assets.

 Commissioners have reminded me that the constitution of the

United States prohibits anybody from denying a landowner the

right to sell property to anybody for almost any reason. But the

Constitution does not guarantee that a landowner is endowed with

the inalienable right to make the most money possible by

building the most homes per acre possible, and do it with the

least concern for the rest of the county or state.

 The western part of Pasco and much of the central area has been

ruined by inappropriate overdevelopment. We have the chance to

protect what is left of our land and provide homes that fit the

rural atmosphere that attracted us here. Raping the land in the

name of development and profit may be the history of American

real estate, but it doesn't have to be the present or future of

it.

 If landowners and developers are not allowed to make the highest

amount of profit, I feel they can still sell their property and

the intelligent homes built on them. Attractive, sensible and

affordable homes can be built with reasonable lot sizes on

soon-to-be-abandoned ranches, groves and open spaces of east

Pasco

We have the opportunity to develop east Pasco into an area we

can be proud of and increase the quality of homes and the tax

base, as well as attract people with higher incomes so they can

better support the county. 

If you reduce the quality of life by crowding people in 5-

foot-lot-line homes with garages in the front and front doors in

the back, you will get people who do not respect their

neighborhoods, neighbors or themselves.

 High-quality homes and a high quality of life will attract and

develop quality homeowners. This is what will benefit Pasco

best. Quality not quantity. 

I urge commissioners to deny approval of these proposals.

 The writer is a Trilby area activist and a former program

director for the Maine Department of Education. 

Editor's note: The county commission, acting as the

county's land planning agency, meets at the Historic Pasco

County Courthouse in Dade City on Wednesday to consider a large

group of applications to amend the comprehensive land use plan,

the guide for growth. The meeting begins at 9:30 a.m.