Sunday, July 01, 2018

Two Record letters on stopping destructive developers from destroying our environment and quality of life (SAR)

I agree with Record letter-writers J.A. Fittipaldi and Clemens Byatt. Three cheers!

Minimum lot sizes for maximum effect

EDITOR: I’ve been here for 40 years and have seen what development has done to the quality of life that led me, and most of the rest of us reading this, to locate here.

It makes me really sad to see deer in my back yard for the first time in all these years, because the poor things have lost their habitat due to all of the development. I find it interesting that our neighboring Clay County Clay restrictions on residential lot size minimum – five acres in a number of areas. I am aware of lot sizes here being as small as 40x100 feet in St. Augustine South. That’s a done deal from long ago, but it’s time to change this to save what we still have left of the quality of life that led those of us to move here. I believe the 1 acre I live on should be the minimum for future subdivision. I will not vote for a commissioner who thinks otherwise, and would suggest whoever cares enough to read The Record to vote likewise.

Clemens Byatt, St. Augustine

We’re killing our golden goose

EDITOR: An open letter to all elected officials and developers/builders:

The homeowners who live in the southern part of St. Johns County have seen enormous overbuilding in our area. Growth can be a good thing, but the growth down here, as well as to our north, comes at a great expense. The transportation infrastructure, the natural environment, the fish and wildlife, the open space, the school system, the stormwater management, the aquifer drawdown/recharge, and all the other salient features that sustain and maintain an equilibrium, cannot —and have not —kept pace with this development.

Many years ago, North Carolina residents were warned of the “Jerseyization” of the Outer Banks and surrounding area. We see what happened there. I believe that Florida, and in particular St. Johns County, should be wary of the Jerseyization of the county and state. It is not too late to place a moratorium on building until a cogent development plan which looks at the entire entity as a system, rather than piecemeal blocks, is formulated.

Growth is inevitable. The features of St. Johns County, such as manageable taxes and good schools, are draws to the county, as well as the State in general. However, growth needs to be synchronized; and all the public, private, and commercial interest groups should manipulate and manage the growth — not that growth. In other words, it is no good to manage discreet acreage. Omar Bradley once said, “If we are not careful, we shall leave our children a legacy of billion dollar roads, leading nowhere, except to other congested places like those they left behind.”

Add to billion dollar roads, housing developments, shopping malls, landscapes void of flora and fauna, water rationing, contaminated wells ... you get the picture. Please slow down. The very things that people desire, and for which they move here, will vanish. Aesop wrote the fable about the goose that laid the golden egg. Do not kill the goose for greed. In the end, it is not profitable.

J.A. Fittipaldi, St. Augustine

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