Commissioner explains vote in controversial Citrus County land use case

A Citrus County commissioner is taking the unusual step of emailing letters to angry residents of a community to explain her vote on a heated land-use decision that didn’t go as expected.

Notary holly davisin an email titled “An Open Letter To Those Whom I Have Disappointed With My Vote On: Meadowcrest,” he describes why he was one of three votes to support an affordable housing apartment complex within his community.

“I have been told by many in Meadowcrest, ‘You don’t listen to me!’” he wrote in an email sent to at least 40 people. “On the contrary, I listened, very carefully; I simply do not agree with the conclusions reached by activists within the Meadowcrest community.”

Citrus County Commissioners voted 3-2 on July 26 to designate property in the Meadowcrest commercial-to-residential master plan for a three-story, 179-unit apartment complex facing the community along State Road 44.

Meadowcrest, a mixed-use development just east of Crystal River, was created by a Regional Impact Development, or DRI, in the late 1980s. Any changes to the master plan need County Commission approval.

Commissioner explains vote in controversial Citrus County land use case

green mills llc of Fort Lauderdale and Meadowcrest’s developer, Gulf to Lakes Associates LLLP, said the apartment complex is a good fit.

County Planning Staff supported application. The Citrus County Planning and Development Commission, which reviewed the application, unanimously recommended Against.

In the weeks leading up to the July 26 vote, Meadowcrest residents deluged county commissioners with emails asking them to deny the complex.

More than 100 people, wearing green T-shirts that read “Save Our Town,” filled both the commission’s chambers and an additional room for three hours. public audience.

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Davis voted with the commissioners scott carahan Y Jeff Kinnard to support the apartments. commissioners Ruthie Davis Schlabach and president rum kitchen jr. voted “no”.

Commissioner explains vote in controversial Citrus County land use case image0 1

More derisive emails to the three Commissioners followed the vote. In his overall response, Davis reiterated that he believes the project supports the community and will provide much-needed workforce housing.

“The fact that it is affordable/workforce housing is a plus,” he wrote. “So let’s address the concerns I’ve heard from Meadowcrest residents that the complex will attract criminals and drug addicts: Nothing could be further from the truth. Residents are retirees or working people who don’t earn enough to compete with higher earners in a market with very little housing stock.

“It’s the opportunity for the single mom or dad who works two jobs to pay high rent and now work just one job, spend more time with the kids and help the next generation thrive. She is the minimum wage Certified Nursing Assistant who will be able to come to her job at her neighbor’s house and allow her neighbor to age in her place. Or it could be you 15 years from now when you need to downsize and still want to be around your Meadowcrest friends.”

He promised to closely monitor the project.

“There are honorable developers and those who are not. I believe this has proven to be a good neighbor who would live up to these stringent expectations,” he wrote.

Based on responses, Davis’s explanation swayed some minds.

“If you intended for people to like this letter and vote for you, you are an idiot,” one man wrote.

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Another woman wrote:

“Thanks for taking the time to respond. He talks a lot. With that said, my husband and I will no longer support his place in the leadership of our county. We are not single issue voters nor are we, as you said, ‘activists’ within the Meadowcrest community.”

And another: “You can change it any way you want, however I knew how the community as a whole felt about this project before your vote, so duly noted.”

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