Suncoast expansion and population growth | Letters to the Editor

Since the current extension of the Suncoast Parkway in Citrus County, those who live nearby have seen displaced wildlife expand into our neighborhoods. Coyotes, gopher tortoises that have been relocated are moving into local communities. Many other wildlife species were also affected. I wonder what the real impact of the highway is on the Nature Coast environment.

It is not necessary that every exit from a major highway be surrounded by a metropolis. The rural and the agricultural can remain while allowing a few small businesses to be built within reasonable limits. Additionally, those who live in the area should be part of the decision making when it affects their home and life.

Water is our greatest resource and without it we would all cease to exist. Careful thought and planning must be part of the population expansion plans for the Nature Coast or we will no longer be the Nature Coast.

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It is understood that this Suncoast extension is intended for evacuation; however, for those who remember Hurricane Irma, all evacuation highways are useless without oil. Thousands of people were stranded without fuel during the evacuation of Irma.

Florida is recently experiencing a “housing shortage” and the proposed expansion would eliminate homes that would make the shortage worse. Due to inflation, those who lose their homes to “eminent domain” would struggle to find a new place to live in Citrus County.

As this is a toll road, those forced to evacuate will have to pay for using the route that takes them to safety. This begs the question: is this a path for the money or the good of the people?

Robert Finkelsen


Editor’s note: During a state of emergency, such as hurricanes, the state may suspend fees on toll roads. He did it during Hurricane Irma.