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Allen's Creek solution destroys while it saves

Editor: Re: June 9 editorial, "County finds way to keep creek in natural state."

In May 1991, my husband and I moved here from Ossining, N.Y., he to work at the VA Medical Center at Bay Pines and I to continue my work in substance abuse and suicide prevention.

Needless to say, we have both been very happy with our decision. We bought a beautiful home on Allen's Creek and have done all the necessary improvements such as storm shutters, solar heat and, in the last three months, the construction of a new seawall.

My community is called El de Oro West and, like so many others, has stormwater drains that line the creek at various sites, my home being one. This way, stormwater from the streets is diverted into the creek. However, oil, gas and lawn pollutants are also carried into the water, creating an unhealthy environment.

You speak of Pinellas County's ambitious model plan to restore our creek by building many retention ponds that would retain the stormwater long enough for purification.

It didn't take me long to find out that, before these communities were built, stormwater would seep into the land, allowing for its filtration and purification. A simple and natural process that had been going on for centuries was disrupted by overdevelopment and lack of foresight.

Now the county comes up with a new idea, but in devising one solution it must again destroy.

The many beautiful, sturdy homes on or near the 4,600-acre drainage basin of Allen's Creek _ which have withstood time, heat, storms, tides and winds _ are now being threatened by those same bulldozers driven by those same engineers who designed the very streets, pipes and seawalls they say are to blame.

What kind of lesson did they learn and at whose expense?

I chose El de Oro because of its beauty and completeness, and I applaud the county's best intentions to restore and maintain a balanced equilibrium between nature and man. But I deplore the destruction of communities and neighborhoods that have taken decades to evolve.

I urge all of you not to support Pinellas County's present model plan at the expense of destroying homes.

As we all desire healthy, balanced and natural waters, we must examine and study other scientific alternatives before accepting this drastic, expensive and devastating solution.

Drs. Philip and Stella Pagano,


Editor's note: The editorial was about Church Creek but did refer to county plans for Allen's Creek.