Thursday, August 16, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Proposed TECO Solar Plant

Opposed to the TECO solar plant

As a 21-year resident and property owner, I am writing in opposition to the proposed Tampa Electric Company solar plant in rural northeast Pasco County.

The solar plant will be .2 miles from my home. It will run 1.4 miles north-to-south and be on both sides of Blanton Road at various locations — literally overwhelming that beautiful area. The plant will obstruct long-established view sheds. Existing property owners in the area will have a solar plant either in their front yards or at their property lines.

The solar plant was approved by the Pasco County Planning Commission on April 9. I understand it is slated for Pasco County Commission action on June 5 in Dade City.

In their approval, the Planning Commission accepted the recommendation from the planning staff that a special exception applied, as this development was a sub-station. Also, that the solar panels (470,000 panels) would be an accessory to the sub-station.

In my opinion, logic was defied in this process as a sub-station cannot do anything by itself. It needs the solar panels, and the solar panels need the land. The land is zoned agricultural. What was approved was an industrial electrical generating plant, which is not allowed under the current zoning. Further, a close reading of Florida’s Right to Farm Act gives no relief to an interpretation that a solar farm is an agricultural activity.

Some have argued that by not allowing the owner(s) of the land this approval, their property rights are being taken from them. I do not want to have anyone’s rights infringed, but I think it is fair to ask that the existing land development code and comprehensive land use plan be followed.

My last comment relates to the uniqueness of this particular rural land. It has to be seen to be fully appreciated — with its beautiful rolling hills, mature oaks, wetland and wildlife. It is a rare site in Florida.

This is not a case of "not in my backyard." This industrial development does not belong in this location. No one out here is arguing against the efficacy of renewable resources.

Please note that hearings are now scheduled with the Board of County Commissioners to consider changing the land development code to allow "solar farms" anywhere in the county on land designated for agriculture. This is a broad issue which needs careful thought and consideration.

Charles D. Ashford, Dade City


Thursday’s letters: Cigars are bad for your health

Tobacco rules don’t suit premium cigars | Editorial, Aug. 13Xyxyx xyxy xyxy xyxy xyxy xyxxxThe argument made in this editorial to exempt the premium cigar industry from FDA scrutiny is, in essence: They are not cheap, they are not fruit-flavored,...
Published: 08/13/18
Updated: 08/15/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Aug. 17

Re: County authorizes takeover of SunWest Park | Aug. 10‘A poor idea from the startWith no fanfare whatsoever, we now have a new park that no one I know ever seems to use or even know where it is. If it is bringing hordes of tourists to our cou...
Published: 08/13/18

Tuesday’s letters: Habitat should help the poor, not hurt them

Habitat lender choice blasted | Aug. 12Help, don’t hurt, poorAs a Habitat for Humanity admirer, donor and volunteer, I was disappointed to read how Habitat for Humanity’s Hillsborough County affiliate reportedly stumbled in delivering its mission...
Published: 08/10/18
Updated: 08/13/18

Monday’s letters: A gun or a vote: danger is relative

‘I went off the deep end’ | Aug. 10A gun or a vote: danger is relativeAt the demonstrable risk of having someone lose his fragile temper, grab his guns, storm out his door and speed to my home to shoot me for saying so (and why NOT, Florida Legis...
Published: 08/10/18

Sunday’s letters: July’s letter of the month is ‘Time for more civil debate.’

July letter of the monthTime for more civil debate"Politics" is an activity which involves power and control, arriving at decisions based on differing interests. Normally, leaders weigh the needs of the individual with the abilities of the country. C...
Published: 08/09/18
Updated: 08/10/18

Saturday’s letters: A team effort made USF preeminent

USF and preeminenceA team effort vaulted USF The University of South Florida’s designation as a preeminent state research university is a prestigious accomplishment and a tribute to the hard work of faculty, staff and students and USF System Presiden...
Published: 08/09/18
Updated: 08/10/18

Friday’s letters: Don’t let pollution be our legacy

Algae blooms amid cuts | Aug. 8Brown can’t be the new greenThis headline should have said "Republicans continue to pave their way across Florida, pollute the water supply and destroy animals and their habitat." The Republicans have controlled Tal...
Published: 08/07/18
Updated: 08/09/18

Wednesday’s letters: Girl’s drowning death is one of two tragedies

Mother: Dead girl now ‘pure’ | Aug. 7Two tragediesThis is another tragedy of a parent who became overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for an autistic child. But an equally bad sequence of events is likely to happen in the days and months t...
Published: 08/06/18
Updated: 08/07/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for Aug. 10

Jacqueline Road being misusedI have issued complaints to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, traffic division and also a letter to the sheriff and have had very little positive response.We have an issue on Jacqueline Road with speeding vehicles and...
Published: 08/06/18

Monday’s letters: Enough with praise for Pier sculpture

Aerial art to billow at Pier | Aug. 3Pier art: boon or boondoggle?Well, finally! The Janet Echelman sculpture project has been approved. The dust has settled and now, at the cost of $2.8 million an over-priced, glorified flag will be flapping ove...
Published: 08/03/18