Apartments will ruin community
When my husband and I, after looking for many months, chose to buy a lot and build a home in Riverside Village, our decision was influenced by the oversized lots, the number of trees and the areas within the development that were indeed undeveloped. Our "deposit receipt and agreement for sale and purchase of real estate," dated Sept. 7, 1985, specified the use of land for "single-family residential purposes."
Scherer Development of Clearwater is now seeking to build 285 apartments on 41.47 acres of vacant land between Riverside Village and Heritage Lakes. That parcel of land currently has 20 acres of wetlands that the proposal states would be reduced to 13.27. It contains an abundance of long-needled pine trees, which constitute only 2 to 3 percent of the trees in Florida and are a favorite nesting site for bald eagles. I can't even count the number of times I have had the good fortune and luxury of watching deer at the trees' edge while taking early evening or morning walks.
Our neighborhood is blessed with many children who enjoy playing outside — I am gravely concerned for their safety if we have a greatly increased traffic flow through our streets, most of which have no sidewalks. Our children catch the bus in the dark.
Our drainage ditches were over the top when the three hurricanes hit — I can't even imagine the impact of paving over for the planned 671 parking spaces when we are already in a designated flood zone. I can't help but wonder if the developer is concerned about sinkholes. This neighborhood has an abundance of sinkholes. I know of five on my block alone. If single-family homes have problems, what could happen with three-story apartment buildings?
We were recently assessed $3,185 to repave our streets and supposedly improve drainage. Who will pay for the impact of all the construction traffic and its inevitable damage on our newly paved streets? One wonders if the timing of our improvements was designed to benefit the developer and his interests.
I am calling on our county commissioners, whom we elected to protect our best interests, to do the right thing. I am calling on the residents of Riverside Village, Riverside Village Estates, River Chase, Southern Oaks and Heritage Lakes to attend the neighborhood meeting at 6:30 p.m. March 29 at Trinity Presbyterian Church.
If unable to attend, go to saveamazondrive.com and sign the petition. Please do it, before it's too late.
Mary Miller, New Port Richey
Krewe of Chasco is disrespectful | March 18 letter
It's a celebration, not disrespect
We have just had a St. Patrick's Day when people dress in green and love the Irish. The letter writer should stop his negative rhetoric and use the Irish example.
Instead of complaining about the Krewe of Chasco, he should campaign for the U.S. to have a Native American Day. We have Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Black History Month, St. Patrick's Day and Cinco de Mayo, so why not a Native American Day? That would be the best way to honor the first Americans.
I know members of the Krewe of Chasco. They are not disrespectful and some of the Krewe are descendents of native Americans.
John Skelton, New Port Richey
Historical society spurning history
I am a life member of the West Pasco Historical Society; and I have lived in west Pasco for 64 years. I was named after both my grandfathers: Pat Russ, who moved to Elfers in 1940, and Ed Frierson, whose family moved to Florida in 1870.
My grandfather purchased the house — that is now home to the historical society — in 1925. My grandmother, Willie Maude, lived in the house for over 50 years. My mother and three of my uncles were all born in the house. I learned to crawl and walk in the house.
I was proud when the house was saved and moved into Sims Park to house the West Pasco Historical Society and to ensure the history and people of our area. I am now ashamed to say I have any association with the organization.
I don't understand how the organization can name my grandmother's house after a person in exchange for money. I don't believe the board of the historical society realizes the anger fermenting in the community over its actions. I know people who have made donations who will never walk into that place again.
Patrick Eddie Russ, New Port Richey