Lakewood Ranch transit remains hot topic

dgraham@bradenton.comApril 16, 2013 

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- From Suncoast Half Marathon requests to vehicle traffic, road repair and the possible closure of Balmoral Gate, the Community Development District 6 workshop Monday representing Country Club West opened a weeklong series of board meetings involving transit issues.

"Our district managers are working on a plan, but nothing has been decided. There is the possibility we would contribute to the Legacy Gate, but these are all issues that supervisors have raised as we move forward," said Robert Burstein, District 6 superintendent.

"The issue is not so much one of money, but one of traffic passing through our neighborhood. There is all of the wear and tear on Balmoral, and transiting to other parts of the country club is an issue we need to address," Burstein said.

Complaints from residents include noise and congestion, he said.

"The thought is to equalize the traffic, in some way to reduce the noise and to increase safety," he said. "So we are in the very beginning of this process."

Superintendent Dick Moran said of District 2, serving Country Club and Edgewater, said the issue is sneaking up on residents.

"Interestingly, for whatever reason, nobody seems to be talking about it except when we go to the meetings," Moran said. "It's like a non-issue and it's going to be a big issue very soon."

In District 5 serving Country Club, Superintendent Alan Silverglat said the conversations he's had with residents "are headed toward two fronts. One would be sympathetic toward the needs of District 6, while at the same time concerned about the needs of districts 2 and 5 for the increased traffic."

Two staffed gates remain the preference of those residents, he said.

"The 2 and 5 districts (residents) with whom I've spoken hope there's a way to retain the status quo. There's been no conversation along those lines -- would we compensate District 6? It's not clear to me they'd save a lot of money taking away the staffed gates," Silverglat said.

"If they pick up a fair share of the costs and the road damage that they're going to create, then I don't know that they save money. We all live inside the gates and want what's fair. We're all one neighborhood and no one wants to take advantage or be taken advantage of," Silverglat said.

The three districts meet together at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Dee Graham, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-748-0411, ext. 7027, or tweet@DeeGrahamBH.

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