EPC, Gates High Meeting Set for Thursday
The latest plans for the Sunset Lane site and its impact on the environment will be discussed.
Residents interested in learning more about the environmental impact of Gates High School's proposed campus on Sunset Lane can attend a meeting with the EPC and school representatives on Thursday, Feb. 28.
"Attendees will see is a revised site plan that shows the actual impact to the wetlands, which is less than an acre," said Patti Girard, Executive Director of Learning Gate Educational Foundation. "It will also show that we are spanning a large part of the wetland area with a wooden bridge. We have to cross the wetlands in order to have access to the property."
The meeting is a result of a the letters sent to the EPC by residents citing concerns about the wetlands and what will happen to them when the school is built, Girard said.
"EPC is required to list the property as 'heightened concern' and are required to hold a workshop for the neighborhood to ask questions," she said.
Lutz residents opposed to the proposed charter school campus formed a No School on Sunset Facebook page to speak out against the proposed campus, including plans for an amphitheater.
"I guess we can now add noise pollution to the long list of examples demonstrating a total disregard for our community and neighbor's quiet tranquility that Lutz used to offer," Patrice Fountain Eveld wrote on the Facebook page.
Thursday's meeting is strictly to deal with wetland issues, septic and water issues, Girard said. "Our pre-application meeting with both EPC and SWFMD has been very positive to the point of commenting that they wish everyone was so mindful of the wetlands."
As far as the amphitheater goes, it has always been drawn on the concept site plans made available to neighbors. However, someone took a photo of the plans during Learning Gate Community School's Ecofest and sent it to Lutz Citizens Coalition founder Mike White, who then raised the issue of noise pollution, Girard said.
The amphiteater issue will not be discussed at Thursday's meeting, she said.
"This meeting will be an excellent opportunity for our parents to see what we have been up against and will give them a very good idea of the layout of the campus. They will also see how committed we are to building the high school despite all of this negativity from a small group of Lutz neighbors."
The meeting will be held from 6:15 to 7:45 p.m. in the cafeteria at Lutz Elementary School, 202 5th Ave SE.
Note: Patch Editor Keli Sipperley's child currently attends Gates High School.