Developers Can Clean Up Their Own Mess

By Clark, Kevin | The Florida Times Union, February 3, 2006 | Go to article overview

Developers Can Clean Up Their Own Mess


Clark, Kevin, The Florida Times Union


Byline: kevin clark

They say the tail doesn't wag the dog, unless we're talking about those who own dogs and watch as they leave "presents" on the lawns of neighbors.

I'm sure plenty of you are humane enough to scoop up your dog's mess. If you think about it, the dog has it pretty good when it doesn't have to take responsibility for such bodily functions. Good thing Fido doesn't truly understand the power he has, or we'd constantly scoop gifts from our favorite chair when the morning walk slips our minds.

Of course, there are those who do understand yet don't pick up after their pets. The possible logic behind such ignorance: What harm can it do? Hey, it's just fertilizer so it must be good for the grass.

Yeah, but it's not good for the bottom of our shoes.

Other than our initial disgust at finding we lost the latest round of doggy doo roulette, however, we rarely invest enough energy to see it doesn't happen again. Dog owners aren't all uncaring twerps, after all. Perhaps they didn't notice?

Apparently we feel the same way about some developers in St. Johns County.

Residents near a portion of Cunningham Creek have noticed some changes to the water color recently. It seems a bunch of silt and other erosion caused by land clearing to make way for the Aberdeen development flowed into the creek, which ultimately spills into the St. Johns River.

Changing the delicate balance of the water system can wreak all sorts of havoc on its inhabitants, especially spawning fish, according to St. Johns Riverkeeper Neil Armingeon.

So the residents complained to Armingeon and the St. Johns River Water Management District. The district sent a written warning to Tom Gillette of Aberdeen Development LLC, asking that he take better care in keeping silt from spilling into the creek or face a fine of up to $10,000 per instance per day.

That might be a chunk of change for you and me. For a modern day land baron expecting to make millions in profit from its mega-project of 5,000 homes and retail space, however, $10,000 is paltry.

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