Trucks will use Bee Pond Road | story, Feb. 16
Shrewd move slips under radar
I read with great interest this article in Sunday's paper. I live on Bee Pond Road, but on East Bee Pond Road. What is not reported is the real story.
The story writes about a 40-acre parcel attached to Innisbrook that is commonly known as "Parcel F." The Times story about the development of this property focuses on the route construction vehicles would take. The Times reported that construction traffic was to use West Bee Pond Road.
Here's the real story: This parcel is almost landlocked. Innisbrook was either very clever or very foolish. I vote for clever. They no longer own the land, but they are protected by a Builder's Agreement between Innisbrook and a previous developer, where construction traffic cannot use Innisbrook roads.
This means that Innisbrook gets the benefit of new homeowners paying Innisbrook fees. The county gets the benefit of a larger tax base. And the surrounding community gets no benefit from the resulting construction traffic, the noise and the trash from the workers throwing their Slurpee cups and McDonald's wrappers out their truck windows.
Lest you think I am on the short end of this stick, think again. I do not live on West Bee Pond. I just think the real story needs to be told. The builder should be able to develop land he has purchased, but the Builder's Agreement should be overturned and the burden of construction should be on the entity that will gain the most — Innisbrook.
Suzanne Kroupa, Palm Harbor
Dunedin looking to woo development downtown story, Jan. 19
Slow down and get the facts
I have not made up my mind whether or not I favor the proposal to eliminate 50 percent of the Land Development Ordinance fee for projects in the Community Redevelopment Area (CRA). I can see both pros and cons for it.
Estimating the net benefit involves quantitative judgments. It appears that the City Commission has already made up its mind to move forward on this proposal without presenting historical data on the functioning of the LDO.
I understand that Bob Hackworth has asked for these data but none have been forthcoming. As a professional economist, I can't imagine ever advocating the (partial) elimination of a revenue source without presenting the historical data on its performance.
I am also puzzled as to why the commission is pushing this change before the upcoming parks and recreation strategic plan is made public.
Due diligence requires the collection, analysis and public discourse regarding the LDO data. Surely it would not be difficult to gather the historical time series of land dedicated and the fees paid in lieu of land under the LDO and the factors in the underlying formula used to calculate them. The data should be segregated between projects within and outside of the CRA.
If your staff is too busy to provide this information, I would be happy to bring my laptop to your offices and work through the files under staff direction to compile the data.
Having the relevant data will not necessarily reveal an obvious yes-or-no decision on this issue, but should the City Commission continue to push toward ratification without presentation of the relevant quantitative data, they risk, at best, accusations of negligence and at worse that they are trying to hide something.
John R. Stewart Jr., Dunedin
Thank you for your service
Dunedin City Commissioner Ron Barnette will not be running for another term. Dr. Barnette wanted to serve his city and provide positive direction and change. No personal agenda, no aspirations for fame or glory, just a deep desire to do his part in the city he loves.
Thanks for your commitment and six years of public service. You have done what you set out to accomplish, making your town just a little bit better for the rest of us. Thanks Ron.
Bill Coleman, Dunedin