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Housing plan in Largo worries neighbors

A plan to build a subdivision with 44 single-family homes has raised traffic and environmental concerns for people who live nearby.

"Many of these senior citizens will be put at risk," Madeline Narkewicz told city commissioners at a meeting Tuesday night.

Narkewicz lives in Ranch Mobile Home Park, which is next to the 7.6-acre plot where developers plan to build the Hidden Oaks subdivision in 12 to 18 months. She and her neighbors fear people who live in the subdivision will cut through their quiet streets to access major roads.

"It's traffic and all the noise," said David Harrison, who lives in Down Yonder Mobile Home Village, next to the proposed subdivision.

Commissioners voted to annex the property Tuesday, making way for development to begin. The land off 150th Avenue N was an unincorporated enclave surrounded by the city. By Largo's code, enclaves must be annexed into the city before they can be developed.

John W. Reed, a developer and investor whose office is in St. Petersburg, plans to put in roads, subdivide the land and have homes built. The homes would cost about $125,000.

Reed could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Commissioners said they did not believe the subdivision would pose major traffic problems, because streets within the mobile home parks are private and could be closed off to outsiders.

"If you'd like to, you can place the gates and do whatever you have to do," Mayor Thomas Feaster said.

Community Development Director Ric Goss said he did not believe that increased traffic from the subdivision would have much impact for those living in about 1,000 nearby mobile homes. "They each drive through each other's parks," Goss said.

Residents also were concerned that leveling the land for a subdivision will create increased runoff and flooding on their streets and that trees will be cut down to make room for homes.

The 7.6-acre tract includes a cluster of four lots. Three lots are wooded and vacant, and a house is on the other lot. Donald and Dorothy Jans, who own the four lots, live in that house at 7012 150th Ave. N. They are selling the lots, assessed for tax purposes at $234,800 combined, according to records from the property appraiser's office.

Desiree Assante said she is disappointed that old oak trees may be cut down to make room for homes.

Assante wanted to buy the land herself, build a home and maintain the wooded areas. "It's just greed," she said of the plan for Hidden Oaks.

Goss said some trees will be removed, while some protected trees will be replaced.

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