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Zephyrhills approves housing proposals

(ran East edition)

City Council members moved forward Monday night on two townhouse projects and a large housing development.

More than 200 acres of Gore's Dairy along Wire Road at the north end of town will hold some 500 houses and 54 townhomes after City Council members finalized the rezoning. The part of the dairy fronting U.S. 301 is targeted for commercial development.

Two townhome communities proposed along Court Street south of State Road 54 also gained approval, despite opposition from nearby residents.

"Nobody wants to live next door to it," said Court Street resident Sandra Warrell.

She said traffic on Court Street will only get worse with hundreds of additional cars.

"I can't get out of my driveway half the time now," Warrell said.

Resident Richard Allen said allowing high-density development amounts to downgrading the quality of life in the city.

"How do you ever reverse that process?" Allen said.

All three projects passed 3-1, with council member Danny Burgess voting against each. He vowed to help find ways to alleviate the traffic problems.

Member Clyde Bracknell defended his vote, saying the city cannot halt growth: "We're trying to control it to some degree."