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Science students hope to prevent new housing development in Pasco County

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A group of environmental science students is pushing back against plans to build more than 100 homes in an area of ​​Pasco County.

For months, they’ve been researching how the development could impact lake water quality, traffic, student safety, drainage issues and wildlife. On Thursday, they presented their findings to the county’s planning commission.

Dozens of signs along Hale Road urge the Pasco County Planning Commission to “stop rezoning”. Land O’ Lakes High School senior Lilly Xu is one of the students spearheading the effort.

“It’s more than just an environmental concern. We’ve learned so much about the history of this region and its character is irreplaceable,” Xu explained.

The developer, KB Homes, is requesting the county rezone a portion of Hale Road near Collier Parkway from agriculture-residential to high-density residential to move forward with their plans to build approximately 110 homes.

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“This impacts all of our health in the future for our entire region. We just hope that they understand that our youth are important stakeholders and we want our voice to be heard,” Xu said.

A group of environmental science students are pushing back against plans to build more than 100 homes in an area of ​​Pasco County.

For months, the Land O’ Lakes High School Scientific Journal Club has been studying the area to see how the development would impact everything from wildlife to traffic to drainage issues.

“We believe the root of this problem lies in the rapid growth of development in this region that is simply unsustainable for our ecosystem,” Xu stated.

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On Thursday, Xu and some of her fellow students took their concerns directly to the county’s 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 stopping a new housing development from being built.

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 stopping a new housing development from being built.

“We believe the root of this problem lies in the rapid growth of development in this region that is simply unsustainable 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 development has impacted the water quality. They’ve also submitted to the planning commission more than 200 letters from students urging them not to rezone the area.

The fate of the rezoning request now lies with the Pasco County Commission which will make a final decision on the matter at their upcoming meeting on October 11.

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