LAND O’LAKES, Florida. – A group of environmental science students are opposing plans to build more than 100 homes in an area of Pasco County.
For months, they studied how the development could affect the lake’s water quality, traffic, student safety, drainage issues and wildlife. On Thursday they presented their results to the district planning commission.
Dozens of signs along Hale Road are urging the Pasco County Planning Commission to stop the rezoning. Lilly Xu, a senior at Land O’ Lakes High School, is one of the students leading the effort.
“It’s more than just an environmental issue. We have learned so much about the history of this region and its character is irreplaceable,” Xu said.
The developer, KB Homes, is asking the county to repurpose a portion of Hale Road near Collier Parkway from agricultural housing to high-density housing to advance its plans to build about 110 homes.
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“This will impact our health across our region going forward. We just hope they understand that we youth are important stakeholders and we want our voice to be heard,” Xu said.
A group of environmental science students are opposing plans to build more than 100 homes in an area of Pasco County.
For months, Land O’ Lakes High School’s Scientific Journal Club has been surveying the area to see how the development would affect everything from wildlife to traffic to drainage problems.
“We believe the root of this problem lies in the rapid growth of development in this region, which is simply not sustainable for our ecosystem,” Xu said.
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On Thursday, Xu and some of her fellow students took their concerns directly to the county planning commission.
A group of environmental science students studied the impact of construction on water in the area and presented their findings to the Pasco County Commission in hopes of preventing new housing development from being built.
“We believe the root of this problem lies in the rapid growth of development in this region, which is simply not sustainable for our ecosystem,” Xu said at Thursday’s meeting.
So far, the group has tested water from five lakes in Pasco County to analyze how the development has affected water quality. They have also submitted more than 200 letters from students to the planning commission, urging them not to rededicate the area.
The fate of the rezoning application now rests with the Pasco County Commission, which will make a final decision on the matter at its upcoming Oct. 11 meeting.