Help End Housing Development Racism
This petition had 1,556 supporters
A 32 square mile area of Hillsborough County Florida has designed a “Community Plan” aimed at keeping middle class, minorities, workforce and low income families out. This plan was orchestrated over 15 years ago to attempt to keep life rural for locals, but it has failed and changed into a racist dictatorship, fully endorsed and defended by local officials.
Gone are the pristine orange groves and cow pastures that used to dominate this area. It’s no longer rural, yet the local Keystone Civic Association, under the leadership of one Tom Aderhold, says you can’t build there unless you own 5 acres or more! This man and his entire board of directors (who live in what they call Keystone) don’t even live on 5 acres themselves.
The Keystone/Odessa Community Plan dictates no public water lines or public sewer lines to run in this area to discourage density. What has resulted is a racist enclave as property values rise and the only availability is to multimillionaires to build mansions. Every development for anything less than 1 house per 5 acres is fought by the Keystone Civic Association’s leadership and then whatever the Keystone Civic Association wants is endorsed by local county officials. The Executive Director of Hillsborough County’s Planning Commission, Melissa Zornitta, works closely with the Keystone Civic Association’s handful of outspoken leadership to ensure all proactive, positive changes coming before the County are flatly denied. Ms. Zornitta served on the Planning Commission with Tom Aderhold’s wife, Barbara Dowling Aderhold for many years before becoming Executive Director. This husband and wife team are fixtures at the County Center, constantly putting pressure to deny anyone in the Keystone/Odessa area the right to the privileges everyone else in Hillsborough County may enjoy. They also take great pride in their “Sovereign Defense” of this area to EXCLUDE minorities!
• The roads in Keystone/Odessa are a main thoroughfare for neighboring county residents commuting to work in Tampa, yet these roads are single lane, substandard, in dire need of resurfacing, country roads. They are clogged everyday with bumper to bumper traffic from ignorant planning and there is no way to improve this safely within the “Community Plan”. Any suggestions at improving roads or building sidewalks are met with ire and adversity by the Keystone Civic Association’s leadership.
• There is no fire hydrant in Keystone/Odessa…hence no fire station either! If a fire occurs, there is only one pump truck in the closest community of Lutz, Florida and they are not able to pump water from any lakes as it clogs the pumps. So, we get to watch our homes burn to the ground due to no fire hydrants.
• No public water or sewer is allowed in Keystone/Odessa. Even though these public utilities border the boundaries of this community and can easily accommodate hookups, the Keystone Civic Association and Hillsborough County refuse to allow residents to hook into these lines because “it will set a dangerous precedent for higher density”.
• Keystone/Odessa is an environmentally sensitive area filled with beautiful lakes, creeks and wetlands. With the current number of septic systems (most of which are very old), public water and sewer is an inevitability to maintain clean lakes, creeks, wetlands and drinking water.
• There is no diversity on the board of the Keystone Civic Association. This community of racist white supremacists openly refer to one of the community’s sacred lakes as “Nigger Lake”. Only because one of the founding fathers of Keystone was a prominent African American (Charles Walker) who owned a large portion of that lake.
• The Keystone Civic Association has morphed into a hostile dictatorship run by the same man and his wife for 13 years, Tom Aderhold, President and Barbara Dowling Aderhold, Secretary. Its membership is top secret, but estimated at around 200 with roughly 10% active members. They have built a substantial “legal defense fund” with various local fundraisers cloaked under the ruse of a way for them to help members of the community. That has never occurred. Former board members have left the association extremely disgruntled and dismayed by the situation the Keystone Civic Association has created in their hometown. Membership has dwindled as well. All that is left are the few who are handpicked by the Aderholds to agree with whatever they want and not fight for the betterment of the community. There is zero transparency within this nonprofit organization and no accounting for public funds and grants bestowed upon them since the reign of the Aderholds began. Any member who dares to ask a question is bullied into submission and or threatened with legal action. Racist, ageist, homophobic and slurs of against the mentally challenged are the norm at general membership meetings and veiled within printed newsletters in various forms. These newsletters are written, edited, published and distributed by the Aderholds. Recent attempts at changing the Community Plan to better Keystone/Odessa were halted by the publishing of complete lies and propaganda in Keystone Civic Association’s newsletter.
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