Lutz News-Lutz/Odessa-March. 11, 2015

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Public can weigh in on school; No horsing around; Pasco and Hillsborough counties are partners in growth

Transcript of Lutz News-Lutz/Odessa-March. 11, 2015

  • M A R C H 1 1 , 2 0 1 5LAKERLUTZNEWS.COMLutz NEWS




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    By B.C.

    After months of delay, a public hearingon a proposed charter school at the south-west corner of Lutz Lake Fern and SunlakeBoulevard is slated for the evening of March16.

    The proposed Sunlake Academy hasfaced stiff opposition throughout theprocess from residents who live near theproposed school that would be built on a7.4-acre site, as well as objections from areahomeowner associations, the Lutz CitizensCoalition, the Lutz Civic Association and theGFWC Lutz-Land O Lakes Womans Club.

    Since its initial application, CharterSchools Inc., has reduced the number of stu-dents who would attend the school. Theapplicant also has substantially increased itsproposed buffering and agreed to trans-portation improvements.

    As the application stands now, the schoolwould allow up to 870 kindergartenthrough eighth grade students, over twophases.

    Changes made by the applicant dont sat-isfy Pat and Joe Serio, whose property abutsthe proposed school.

    We are absolutely opposed, Pat Seriosaid.

    NohorsingaroundAvalons students prepfor equestrian showsBy Michael

    The Reflections community in Lutz hasbeautiful houses, well-maintained areas anda peaceful, suburban aesthetic.

    And 30 acres for riding, training andshowing horses.

    Its been here 20 years. They built that(the housing development) about 11 yearsago, said Pam Roush, trainer and owner ofAvalon Stables, 18029 Lake Reflections Blvd.Before that, the property was a farm forthoroughbreds. Then Roush bought it andconverted it to an area for training and les-sons, and the Veterans Expressway helpedthe area develop residentially.

    Now, Avalon Stables almost looks tuckedaway in a subdivision, but a quick detour offthe main road leads to dozens of stables,large training areas and a little communityall its own.

    We kind of call it our barn family, saidassistant trainer Lonna Glover. Usually inthe afternoons, everybody is here. Its a bigsocial thing for a lot of our customers.

    Saturday mornings also are a populartime, with riders and family gathering at thepavilion to watch lessons, socialize and sup-

    port each other. While Avalon Stables is a fun place for its

    riders, it also can be serious business. Manystudents own their own horse and keep it atAvalon. A horse can easily cost what youd

    pay for a new car, Gloverexplained, and addingseveral hundred dollarsa month for care andmaintenance means itsfor riders looking to im-prove and becomesuccessful at competi-tions.

    But owning a horseisnt a requirement toparticipate. Some riderssimply pay for lessons

    and use horses on-site that are designatedfor student use. And whether theyre gun-ning for recognition at a show, or just havingfun on the weekends, horse riding and train-ing can relieve stress.

    The pursuit requires the kind of concen-tration that doesnt leave room for outsidepressures to creep in.

    Most people like to come out here tojust relax and do something different, be-cause they cant think of anything elsewhile theyre sitting up there, Glover said.They have to think of what theyre doingand how theyre doing it.

    Children with attention challenges oftenfind their focus improving when theyre ona horse, because every movement works inconcert to keep the animal behaving as itshould, Roush explained.

    Brooklyn Krone, 12, has been coming toAvalon for seven years. She spends threedays a week working with her horse, Breve

    MICHAEL MURILLO/STAFF PHOTOSAnnaliese Donaldson-Pham and her horse, Tirza, are preparing a move into national compe-tition. She began riding at age 3.

    Sunlake Academypublic hearingMarch 16, 6 p.m.

    Second floor board chambers at the FredB. Karl County Center, 601 E. KennedyBlvd., in Tampa

    B.C. MANION/STAFF PHOTOSPat and Joe Serio, who live next to the pro-posed Sunlake Academy, are adamantlyopposed to the school, which they say wouldruin the quiet enjoyment of their property. See CHARTER, page 7A

    See EQUESTRIAN, page 7A

    Brooklyn Krone workswith her horse, BreveLatte, at Avalon Stablesas she works to move upin show competitions.

    By Kathy

    The explosion of new development inPasco and Hillsborough counties is goodnews for governments that count on robusttax revenues to balance budgets. But, therooftop subdivisions and shopping mallssprouting along busy highways that linkthese two prospering counties bring newchallenges that likely will require a regionalapproach to solve.

    Transportation, including public transit, isamong the most critical issues.

    Everything is connected, but all roads no pun intended lead back to transporta-tion, said Hillsborough CountyAdministrator Mike Merrill.

    The recession temporarily slammed thebrakes on new investments. But with mar-ketplace confidence in the drivers seatagain, developers are accelerating their paceto build thousands of new homes, malls, ho-tels and restaurants.

    In Pasco County, much of the activity iscentered on State Road 54, the east-westcorridor on the countys southern border.The heaviest activity on State Road 54 so faris at its interchanges at Interstate 75 and theSuncoast Parkway.

    Another Pasco hot spot is U.S. 19, thenorth-south corridor on the countys west-ern side.

    Both State Road 54 and U.S. 19 are ex-pected to have expanding development andconcentrations of new residents, accordingto Pasco County Administrator MicheleBaker.

    Future growth plans, driven by incen-tives, will set the path for where futuredevelopment commercial and residential -should go, she said. But she added: You can-not build your way out of trafficcongestion.

    During the past two decades, Pasco hasseen cow pastures and citrus groves vanishas land is plowed over for subdivisions andshopping centers. Rush hours are a daily rit-ual a commuter conga line of motoristsleaving and returning to the countys bed-room communities.

    Density plays a role in deciding whichtransportation projects should get priority.

    You need a certain amount of conges-tion before you see people on the bus,Baker said.

    Baker and Merrill shared their insights onthe future of their counties and of theTampa Bay region with about 50 peoplewho attended the monthly meeting of the

    Pasco and Hillsborough counties are partners in growth

    See PARTNERS, page 7A

    Michele BakerMike MerrillB


    Public can weigh in on school


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    2A www.LakerLutzNews.comMarch 11, 2015

    Keeping It Localexpo and fun dayThe Laker/Lutz News Staff Report

    Haircutters, bankers, commercial leasingagents, trophy makers and movers all hadsomething in common on March 6 andMarch 7. They were among dozens of busi-nesses and organizations taking part in theCommunity Fun Day Expo 2015 at the LandO Lakes Recreation Complex on CollierParkway.

    The Central Pasco Chamber ofCommerce and Lowes teamed up, withLowes presenting the fun day on March 7, anew element for the two-day event.

    The expo mixed business with pleasure featuring fun activities for kids, food ven-dors, giveaways, drawings, and a chance forcompanies and civic clubs to share theirstory with the community, mingle with thepotential customers and do a bit of net-working.

    Three-year old Brooklyn Larese carries areusable shopping bag full of samples andbusiness literature, given out by CentennialBank, while she and her parents, Tim andSuzanne Larese and Brooklyn's big sister,Miranda, 9, browsed through the expo.

    FRED BELLET/PHOTOSKnight Pest Control's Susan Dunlop hands out a rain meter, for measuring rainfall, whileflanked by a large critter. Dunlop spoke to visitors needing information about the business.

    Heather DiRienzo of New Port Richey, left, was promoting the Two Guys and A Truck movingtrucks, while coworker Eugenia Parlow of New Port Richey stacks additional coffee cups forthose attending the two-day expo.

    By Kathy Steeleksteele@lak