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Carnival hearing may prove meaningless

The County Commission is scheduled to hear neighbors' concerns today about noise and traffic safety hazards at the St. Paul's Catholic Church annual fund-raising carnival.

The carnival is scheduled for Oct. 22-25 on church grounds at Dale Mabry Highway and Stall Road.

According to one county official, today's hearing is moot.

The County Commission, in settling a different matter, voted Oct. 6 to stop enforcing neighborhood fair regulations between Oct. 6 and Jan. 1.

County Zoning Administrator Paula Harvey said that because the approval takes three months, neighborhood fairs will not be regulated at least until March.

Church officials were in meetings Monday and were unavailable for comment.

Two neighbors have written to the commission in recent months complaining about noise and safety hazards during the yearly fair, and one of them has started a petition drive.

Pete Black of Stillwater Drive, off Stall Road, said he and his wife were nearly hit by a car on Stall during last year's carnival, "and kids keep darting out between parked cars."

In his letter to the commission, Black asked that all parking be off-road and that the rides be farther from Stall Road. Black said the carnival is noisy, but "for four days, I can tolerate it. It's for a worthy cause."

Long before the Oct. 6 commission vote, County Planner Tom Hiznay recommended that the carnival be approved with the following conditions: All parking must be off the road and all motorized rides must be north of the church sanctuary, away from the residential neighborhoods.

In spite of the Oct. 6 vote, residents and representatives of the church expect to be at today's hearing.