Citrus County Citizens OPPOSE Northern Turnpike Connector

Citrus County Citizens OPPOSE Northern Turnpike Connector

4,569 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
Petition to
Citrus County BOCC and

Why this petition matters

We, the undersigned residents of Citrus County Florida, strongly oppose the toll road being considered in Project # 14480—Turnpike (SR91) Extension at the Northern Terminus.  Citrus County is currently under consideration within the study area for this Turnpike Extension via Alternative Corridor Central and Alternative Corridor South.   We oppose this toll road for the following reasons:

1.  Negative Environmental Impact:  Citrus County’s eastern and western areas are primarily lakes and freshwater wetlands, which are essential to filtering toxins out of the water that feeds our aquifers.  Safe drinking water is a crucial natural resource which is already threatened by rising ocean levels and saltwater intrusion.  Promoting sprawl and overdevelopment will threaten current Florida state residents’ access to safe, clean water.

2. Lack of Need:  The Suncoast Parkway is currently making its way through the heart of the county and eventually, out of the county at US 19.  And plans for the continuation of this roadway are either under constructions, have already been funded, or are currently approved, but unfunded.  Further, development at US 19, once the Suncoast Parkway reaches it, has not been considered.  The current Suncoast Parkway, even without benefit of the extension under construction now, has excess capacity.  It will continue to have excess capacity for likely one to two decades.  Finally, the prior M-CORES study failed to find need and expressed preference for expanding and improving upon existing roadways.  So, too, did the I-75 Task Force.

3.  Cost to Taxpayers:  The Citrus County study area includes several significant homeowner developments.  These developments, while rural in nature, are the main funding for governmental services within the county, and many of the homes within these areas appraise significantly in terms of value.  Were this area to be chosen, this county would suffer a severe funding shortfall, and the FL State taxpayer would be required to fund high eminent domain payments to take property for a toll road that has been determined isn’t needed.  The tolls themselves would also represent an additional TAX on current residents in the county.  Further, the area is undergoing a current real estate and building boom.  This study area, for as long as it’s underway, will negatively impact the Citrus County residents, and should it occur, will impoverish the county of crucial tax funding.

4. Negative Impact to Key Economies:  Citrus County is home to significant tourism businesses and industries.  Citrus County is the heart of the Nature Coast.  Having not just one, but TWO toll roads negotiate the landscape of currently pristine lakes, rivers, wetlands, marshes, springs, will not only damage the landscape, it will damage the tourism industries due to reduced visitation.  Further, aside from road building, off ramp development of gas stations and fast food, all of which is either temporary in nature OR designed for low skilled hourly wages, no additional development is planned to replace the damage to nature tourism. 

5. A Terrible Hurricane Evacuation route:  The western end of this Turnpike Extension study area within Citrus County is itself WITHIN EVACUATION ZONE 1.  This area is low lying, and it is the FIRST to be evacuated in the event of significant weather events.  Further, there are currently little if any services for travellers using this route.   Hurricane evacuation should be through and to areas where those seeking shelter won’t find themselves in harms way.  Neither corridors provide a safe pathway for hurricane evacuation.   

4,569 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!