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Rural community faces demise

Eleanor Coflin, 76, opposes a planned 68-home subdivision on Mound Lake in Keystone. Lake Development Co. wants to develop 113 acres south of Lutz-Lake Fern Road and create a gated neighborhood with homes selling for $400,000 to $3-million. At a zoning hearing Monday at the County Center, Coflin read the following statement:

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My name is Eleanor Coflin. I live at 8501 Old Country Road with my husband, Charles Enumette Coflin. I have lived on this property for 57 years. I even named our little private 10-foot lane, Old Country Road. We have seen many changes in our beloved area over the years _ some good and some bad.

Our 20 acres is on the west side of the property Mr. Scott Luttrell bought from the McMichaels. We share a small fishing lake, less than 12 acres, called Lake Faye. The water is crystal clear and you have to fish on a cloudy day if you expect to catch something. We never allowed anyone on the lake with anything but a small boat with a paddle or a trolling motor.

We have faithfully adhered to the plan for our property set out by the Soil and Water Conservation Department so many years ago. Mr. Luttrell wants to put eight homes on this little fishing lake and 60 more homes plus the streets, a park and a play area on 93 acres, in his high-density, exclusive, closed and gated subdivision. He bought the land knowing the "highest and best use of the land," determined by the Planning Commission, was one house to 5 acres.

On 5 acres you can have your own shady lane, a garden, horses if you like, and your children can raise a calf or chickens and belong to the 4-H Club rather than play in a play area just like the one at school. You can enjoy the wildlife that is fast disappearing elsewhere. There are otters that play in our lake. We have even seen a bobcat and wild turkey. We have watched two little foxes at the close of the day. At night we hear the barn owl and the chuck-will's-widow. We see the stars at night _ not street lights.

This subdivision as planned would be a high density, closed and gated area, not a part of our neighborhood. It would be the same as 10,000 others and would change forever our special rural community. We could never go back.

I was glad to read about the new Office of Neighborhood Relations. The county administrator, Daniel Kleman, said, and I quote, "County government must be partners with neighborhoods to preserve the culture and value of those neighborhoods."

We beg you _ please _ do not change the zoning on Mr. Luttrell's property. He will not lose the money he has invested.We do not want that. There are many people hungry for a little land in a quiet, special, rural community with good neighbors that want to welcome them as part of our established neighborhood.

What's right is right and what's wrong is wrong!