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Dennis Carlton

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Material Information

Title:
Dennis Carlton
Series Title:
West Central Florida land use oral history project
Physical Description:
1 sound file ( 90 min.) : digital, MPEG4 file + ;
Language:
English
Creator:
Carlton, Dennis, 1952-
Mansfield, Bill
University of South Florida Libraries -- Florida Studies Center. -- Oral History Program
University of South Florida -- Tampa Library
Publisher:
University of South Florida Tampa Library
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Land use -- Florida -- Hillsborough County   ( lcsh )
Water-supply, Rural -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre:
Oral history   ( local )
Online audio   ( local )
Oral history.   ( local )
Online audio.   ( local )
interview   ( marcgt )

Notes

Summary:
Dennis Carlton, who is in the citrus, cattle, and real estate business, talks about his ideas regarding land use in Hillsborough County. He discusses zoning in Hillsborough County, issues of public opinion, water usage for rural land, the growth of the population in Florida, land taxation, and urban sprawl. He also discusses his past presidency of the Florida Farm Bureau and the activities of that organization.
Venue:
Interview conducted June 27, 2006.
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
System Details:
Streaming audio.
Statement of Responsibility:
interviewed by William Mansfield.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 028592284
oclc - 182555452
usfldc doi - W34-00003
usfldc handle - w34.3
System ID:
SFS0022516:00001


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C O P Y R I G H T N O T I C E T h i s O r a l H i s t o r y i s c o p y r i g h t e d b y t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f S o u t h F l o r i d a L i b r a r i e s O r a l H i s t o r y P r o g r a m o n b e h a l f o f t h e B o a r d o f T r u s t e e s o f t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f S o u t h F l o r i d a C o p y r i g h t 2 0 0 7 U n i v e r s i t y o f S o u t h F l o r i d a A l l r i g h t s r e s e r v e d T h i s o r a l h i s t o r y m a y b e u s e d f o r r e s e a r c h i n s t r u c t i o n a n d p r i v a t e s t u d y u n d e r t h e p r o v i s i o n s o f t h e F a i r U s e F a i r U s e i s a p r o v i s i o n o f t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s C o p y r i g h t L a w ( U n i t e d S t a t e s C o d e T i t l e 1 7 s e c t i o n 1 0 7 ) w h i c h a l l o w s l i m i t e d u s e o f c o p y r i g h t e d m a t e r i a l s u n d e r c e r t a i n c o n d i t i o n s F a i r U s e l i m i t s t h e a m o u n t o f m a t e r i a l t h a t m a y b e u s e d F o r a l l o t h e r p e r m i s s i o n s a n d r e q u e s t s c o n t a c t t h e U N I V E R S I T Y O F S O U T H F L O R I D A L I B R A R I E S O R A L H I S T O R Y P R O G R A M a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f S o u t h F l o r i d a 4 2 0 2 E F o w l e r A v e n u e L I B 1 2 2 T a m p a F L 3 3 6 2 0

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Land Use Oral History Project Patel Center for Global Solutions University of South Florida Interview with: Mr. Dennis Carlton Interviewed by: William Mansfield Location: Dover, Florida Date: June 27, 2006 Transcribed by: Wm. Mansfield Edited by: W m. Mansfield Audit Edited by: Jessica Merrick Audit Edit Date: November 28, 2007 Final Edit by: Nicole Cox Final Edit Date: December 06, 2007 WM: This is Bill Mansfield from the Patel Center for Global Solutions talking with Mr. Dennis Carlton at his ho me in Dover, Florida on June 27, 2006. We always have people start off by having them state their name and telling us when they were born and where they were born. So let her go. DC: All right, Dennis Carlton. I was born in 1952, Tampa General Hospital. WM: What month? DC: May, May the 14 th DC: A native Floridian. WM: because with canker and everything else it was worth their while to sell off some of their acreage. WM: Chip Hinton said I should talk t o you because you were on the Farm Bureau. [See Chip Hinton interview with Bill Mansfield 2 28 06.]

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2 the Agricultural Economic Development Council. WM: Uh huh. DC: And on the Federal Land Bank Board, which is a leading agricultural leader and also on the Valrico State Bank Board. WM: I guess we can start out talking about the Farm Bureau. My first qu estion on that is, who makes up who are the members of the Farm Bureau in this area? DC: You want the names? WM: (laughs) Not the names and I should say that some of these questions might sound kind of foolish and simple [to you], but I figure a histori an fifty years from now might [be glad I asked them]. DC: (laughs) Okay. The Farm Bureau is all encompassing, in the fact that it [includes] all mm what would be the proper word? I do WM: Advocacy group? DC: Advocacy group, there we go. Because it [represents] all commodities, all agricultural commodities. WM: Uh huh. DC: And part of that uh under that umbrella comes policy, which is made by the membe Tallahassee [Florida] and Washington [DC] and [they] look after the agricultural interest the staff is not off running around doing what they think they need to do, they are instructed by the that thing works. WM: Sounds like the way most things ought to work. and nationally, but tell me what you all do h ere in Hillsborough County, to effect land use policy.

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3 DC: Typically you will find people on most boards, and this is true of the Farm Bureau, are people that are interested, And they are interested in land use, water use, environmental issues, things tha t revolve around the land. Because, obviously, the common denominator amongst all of them is the land. Farm Bureau, on a local level is very active politically. I think part of that is just, obviously, is because of the make up of the board. Over the yea rs [it] has worked diligently to know the different county commissioners; know the legislators, and to interact with them on issues that are important to us. That can be anything from taxation to land use. So uh I guess the big common denominator is that t hey are all landowners true stake in the community. WM: Uh huh. DC: Farm Bureau also has an insurance side, where they sell insurance. A lot of the farming community buys insurance as a member service. WM: But you said, because of the membership well I guess you answered that question, because they are farmers. But is there an member of the Farm Bureau? anyone can be a member of it. But most of the active membership are farmers. Okay? WM: I can imagine, like an equipment dealer wou ld be a member. typically are the true agriculturist. Insurance is a big part of what Farm Bureau does and you have to be a member in order person has to become a member of Farm Bureau in order to buy that insurance. So in that sense you will have a lot of people that are members, but they are not truly the active WM: Okay. How would you describe the average active member? Would you say they are cattle people, citrus people, big farmers, small farmers DC: Woo No. WM: tropical fish farmers DC: All of the above. There is no such thing as average.

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4 WM: Okay. I think about nurserymen. I know one of the past presidents was probably one of the largest nurserymen in Hillsborough find people that want to be engaged and want to make a difference. [People] that are willing to spend some time at it. WM: You said that you worked to get to know the county commissioners? DC: Yeah, the thing is is that the land is owned, at least out in this part of the world, primarily by the agricultural WM: Uh huh. influence on my life (speaking financially) than does my state senator. The reason being is all land uses are local. So everything that happens locally goes through downtown Tampa. [It] goes through the planning commission. [It] goes through the county commission. So, obv commissioners, so that they know who you are and can respect you, so you can have good way. WM: Right. Lobbyists have a bad reputation, but what they do is often educate people DC: Right! Absolutely. WM: So would you say the Farm Bureau helps educate the county commissioners? one of the thin gs that has nothing to do with it and its kind of a side note When you came in you heard me talking on the phone. I was talking about Stephen Gran. [See Stephen Gran interview with Bill Mansfield 6 28 06.] Stephen Gran works for the Hillsborough County Ag ricultural Economic Development Council, [which] is the offshoot of a task force we started in 1996, that dealt with taxation. What that taxation did st tell me.

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5 DC: But the taxation was The general premise of the public is that the farmers get a tax about services. What services were required by the rural community and what the taxes were. dollar worth of taxes sent in to Hillsborough County, we received sixteen cents in services. Well, the first thing t a little bit of sheriff, a little bit of police [protection]. Some education, very little. teach a cow very much. (laughter) financially. It was a very eye opening experience to Hillsborough County. They began to see the importance of agriculture, not only from job creation but also from taxation. Okay? And from that we started the Agricultural Economic Development Council, which In that Council, Stephen Gran keeps the agricultural informed as t Hillsborough County. Sometimes we will have we will be asked occasionally, by the They understand that it supplies open space, water recharge, and wildlife habitat. A ll the things the people of the community want, the ag community supplies at no cost. WM: Uh huh. DC: So those are things that our commission understands, while in most urban settings, the commissioners do not understand. WM: One of the things that Chi p Hinton said was that most people think agricultural land DC: Yeah. they take in terr itory, that increases their tax revenue. DC: My take on that? WM: Yes.

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6 DC: The reality is case. For example, Plant City was wanting to annex a pile of land. They had somebody go a nd if you start incorporating a bunch of [protection], you The homeowner in Hillsborough County [and] take the tax bill, it will not cover the cost for the services it requires. People a heck of ally paying for it assessment. WM: The commercial entity? DC: Warehouses, restaurants, strip [malls]. You know? All of those things [are] what tax revenue WM: How does the Farm Bureau shape the land use policies of the the planning commission. The planning commission do you know, or care to know about land us e or how it operates? WM: Sure that would be great. the people. In this case the people of Hillsborough County have a plan; they send it to DCA, the Department of C remember what it stands for. WM: (laughs) Okay. DC: The Department of Community Affairs. [The plan] goes to Tallahassee and it is either approved, or not approved.

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7 WM: And AR stands for what? DC: AR [agricultural residential] would be one [housing] unit for five acres. WM: Okay. for it. In order to apply for something the Comp plan has to allow for it. For example, in the area where I live the Comp plan calls for one unit per acre. So if I had forty acres, the highest density I could even ask an over lay. From there you go to a zoning [plan]. So you have your Comp plan, with an over lay then use process works. Now when we start talking about shaping policy, Farm Bureau would have some input in some respects, but not typically on the Comp plan. It would be more with the definitions within each category. I got involved in land use issue that dealt with nurseries in a residential area. In trying to come up with a guidelines, I had some input on that and you might want to talk with Stephen about that what they did to come up with some language. Where the Ag Economic Development Council (some of the members that are on that) a lot of the members that are on that [council] are old Farm Bureau members. It just happens to work that way.) But we had an issue with the fruit stands, panhandlers, peddlers, if you will. The county How do we solve it? What do we need to for input from the Ag Economic Development Council. So I would say to you, the Farm Bureau is important but the AEDC is where the C ounty goes for information concerned with agriculture. WM: I guess I was thinking, say they were planning to re zone some area for (speaking our water supply and our zoning regulations?

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8 most people that own land, feel like the other man should, pretty much be able to d o what man goes in there to re zone, everybody in the ne ighborhood is raising Cain about it. They have a different thought way it is. impa ct your property. Commission and speak at the planning commission, in opposition to it. The Planning Commission would then make a recommendation that comes to Hillsborough County. At that point you could talk to your County Commissioners and they could either [give you] a thumbs up or thumbs WM : You talked about how the County Commissioners affect you more than the representative in Tallahassee and in Washington. DC: Absolutely. WM: Tell me more about that. DC: All land issues are local. So any zoning, which gives you the ability to do somet hing with your land, is done on a local basis. So the people you elected to the county commissioners are the ones that approve or deny zoning. Zoning creates value. ell this remember I talked about the Comp Plan? WM: Uh huh. within the urban servi When we go to zone it we go down to the county commission and everybody speaks and

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9 Not always but most of the time.) When it gets down there the public sentiment will drive the Commission to, almost always give less density. So, Comp Plan, when it gets time if it is one unit to five acres, or ten units to the acres. Nobody wants it to happen. They want to be ant to see more density. When I say that I think, home builders associations. tand up and say WM: Great. DC: We had a piece of land in downtown Brandon. It was approximately 100 acres. It had development on four sides. It is what is considered an in fill piece. It was a beautiful piece of land. When we wanted to sell it, and it was time to zone it, the county staff recommended so many units [per acre]. We had a tremendous neighborhood outcry. People left it like [it was]. They wanted the Parks Department to make a park out of it. They wanted one unit absolutely no support [for this] within the community. The reason being more traffic, it absolutely did, but it was in an area [ where] growth is supposed to take place. But we got pretty good density on it, and sold it. But my point is everybody that lived in those subdivisions lived on a piece of land, just typical of what you see. I understand that. people have property You try to plan and do the best you can for it. WM: Now in that example that you just gave, was that you as a realtor selling that land?

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10 DC: No. It was land we owned. WM: Okay. So the loca l people were against it, but it was in your interests to sell it with denser population on it? DC: Yeah. Density creates value, within a certain reason. In that case we were in an area surrounded by subdivisions. Well, the highest and best use, the most appropriate use for the point that I was really trying to make was, while the urban service area calls for a certain density, that is not what always takes place, bec ause of the outcry of the different issue. WM: (laughs) I appreciate you bringing that up, because that puts faces on [what is often an anonymous drama]. Tell me, in more deta il, about the hearings that took place. DC: We had tremendous opposition, so we had town hall meetings, to get with the neighbors to try come up with some resolution. And basically what it was, was trying to negotiate something that made everybody happy. Which we, obviously, did not do. WM: Uh huh. DC: What we did was take some density and put it inside the subdivision and had the bigger lots on the outside of the subdivision. Just some planning techniques that are pretty common. We do [that] all the tim e any way. WM: Kind of creating a buffer? always have the people (and I just did a rezoning up north of here, a classic case.) You do the buffer and all; they still go land for 70 or 80 years. A lot of the neighbors that were complaining about it were on WM: Change is h ard to take. DC: Yeah, change is a hard thing. WM: The people who came to oppose this, did they have any kind of organization?

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11 DC: Oh yes. Oh yes. They hired a lawyer in this case. WM: Was it like a homeowners association? DC: What it is, is a group of people will get together and kind of form and this is a good thing, p rovided the motive is right. Get together and come forth with a plan, or come forth on an issue. Now what happens with those things, and this is a whole different issue, is anybody can speak before the commission and say anything you want to say. I mean you can say the For those kinds of organizations people will get up and make very general, broad based statements that are not correct. DC: Absolutely. Absolutely. And some of them will come forth as though they are facts, They will state their opinion as though it were fact. WM: When something is important to you like that it can cloud [your thoughts]. DC: Yeah, that happens sometimes. zoning here in the county, or working on it? Could you tell me about that? DC: Absolutely. WM: Okay. DC: [I] had a forty five acre tract that was in a Comp plan of one unit p er acre, which would allow you to ask for up to forty that I hired came up with forty units, which is less than the [maximum] but very acceptable. Had the lay out. We had tremendous opposition from the neighborhood.

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12 This was for ty allows bigger lots here, smaller lots there. The interior, ones like we talked about are would be the width, or wider than all of the adjacent lots. Lots in the middle are smaller. The word got out on the street that there were going to be ninety lots! replie This thing took on a life of its own. The [Tampa] Tribune even wrote an article. Wrote two or three articles. Never did get it correct! Never did get it correct! [They were] talking about the number of lots in this subdivision and what was taki ng place. [bother me]. What happened is what happened. But it was interesting at the zoning [hearing]. This lady came up to me and was just chewing me out. in this subdivi many lots there were. But she was mad. Everybody was upset. And you could n ot get the truth. You could not make them understand what the truth was. They were angry. They doing. We never did make them happy. It ended up [getting] approved for th irty six lots. The reason for thirty six lots? Because there were a lot of people there complaining. And the Zoning Hearing just [cut] it, by just a little and make zoning] because it met all of the requirements. agencies were fine with it. The zoning staff recommended approval for forty lots. But at the end of the day, I still lost four lots. Still lost some density. Tape 1, side 1ends; side 2 begins.

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13 always whittle at you on the density. WM it made no difference, because the man who owned it understood you needed a density and he cut the price. So, that came directly out of his pocket. I was a little upset with it was absolutely arbitrary. It should not have been done. There was no claim. Nobody ever gave any reason for why, thirty six was the right number and W M: It sounds like they were throwing a sop to the people who objected. DC: Absolutely. Because all of the lots on the outside were going to be the same width or lot subdivision or this looks like a forty this makes the comm department DC: These are all people who make comments in reference to a project, whether [or not] e mentioned. WM: So they all weigh in, to the decision? DC: Yes. WM: And then public sentiment comes into it too? DC: Right. WM: What about, I was talking to Mr. Hugh Gramling [See Hugh Gramling interview with Bill Mansfield 6 26 06] and he was talkin g about water usage as being ah check and balance on development and agriculture too, for that matter.

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14 DC: Yeah. The Southwest [Florida] Water Management District is in charge. Originally it ll of our water is metered. There are certain areas of the county where you cannot get any water. There is an ongoing challenge to agriculture to have enough water. The Water Management what the facts are) trying to cut the amount of water that agriculture has [access to]. I base that on the fact that any time you change a commodity, you automatically lose 10 ercent reduction because of the change. DC: Citrus to strawberries. WM: Okay. whack you, period. WM: So if percent [of your water]? goes with this. In certain areas now you may lose 10 percent of yo ur permit, but you might get a permit to drill another well, for some more water. Okay? Or you might not, depending on the location where you are. But in south [Hillsborough] get any Now you can transfer water. I told you that when you change commodities you lose 10 properties and just take it all over here. Ah of the water in the world. It rains fifty We have a phobia about wastewater in the sense that nobody wants to drink the water that comes from any kind of wastewater. I will tell been when you start at the top of the Mississippi and by the time it gets to the Gulf [of WM: (laughs)

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15 water comes in, and another on the other side, where they treat it and put it back in. But here in Florida, at er has been pumped out. DC: Salt water intrusion, yes. DC: Dropping. DC: Municipalities, agriculture and mining [are] the big users of the water. I thin k the municipalities use more water than anybody does now. The problem we have had, and environmental issues. They pumped all the water that was used for municipalitie s came from ground water. Now with the new reservoir, with the desalinization plant, some of that is changing. came [from]. We just sucked it dry. WM: Uh huh DC: All o up being. WM: It seems like that the agricultural interest, there is sort of an adversarial relationship between the agricultural interest in water and the expanding municipalities. DC: Uh ike Gerald Davis now) but they will come out in a rural area and buy an acre of land, put a well that big [holds up hands to indicate a large well] in there and suck all of the water from out of the rial situation has really come in.

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16 WM: Chip Hinton said that was somethin g that helped organize DC: What it did out in this area is it helped organize the farmers. [They] had to get is worth nothing. WM: (laughs) you have all that labor in the packing hou ses. Ah pe ople. All the jobbers that make it work. they want to do. Industry gets a lot more support than agriculture does and that always puzzled me. DC: Yes. You made a statement earlier on, that people look at the land and think you the strawberry field over there and that stuff. Well there are other things I could do with o. That gets to be a personal choice. WM: Uh huh. But I guess its like Chip Hinton said there is sort of a natural bias against agriculture. DC: Yes, I would say that is true. WM: Who would you say are the different groups working [to] affect land use ? I mean the Farm Bureau is one. The homebuilders association would be another. DC: The Sierra Club would be one. WM: Uh huh.

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17 owners, big landowners. Robert Thomas would be one. Robert had worked on some land Keystone Civic Association, the Balm, Se ffner, all have associations that have a lot to say about land use. The homebuilders association understands the issues and they understand how it works. it. WM: Uh huh. DC: Absolutely. WM: Part of it is people move out to the country to get away from the city and DC: The city comes to them. nothing more after that. DC: Right! WM; I want to ask this, before I forget, but the homebuilders association, who would be a good person to talk to in the homebuilders association? DC: Ah WM: Okay. One of the problems I have is trying to pronounce names. DC: Oh, this one is [difficult]. WM: What do you see happening in Hillsborough County? How do you see the growth and land planning playing out? DC: (sighs) The urban service area is going to continue to get the majority of the density. ks down into two categories.

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18 The first one in the area that is zoned one unit per acre, which is all of that [area] between Tampa and Plant City. Okay. I should have said Brandon and Plant City. That land is going to continue to be busted up and sold in one acre tracts as fast as people can make them. As fast as the demand will allow. The land out in the rural areas is going to be developed in those long thin five where people live. DC: And if a ma n wants to live out in the woods, out in the AR category (one to five units per acre) and have a few horses and cows es, build a house and just let the rest of it grow up. WM: Uh huh. you will continue to see smaller and smaller and smaller parcels [of land]. seen is and I acreage, that are now little acreage. A hundred acre parcel in south Hillsborough County is a pretty big parcel. At one time that would have been cons idered a very small one. If you take out what the phosphate companies own, the rest of that land is rapidly being urbanized, in sprawl five acre blocks. WM: How do you see co ntrolling that? there. There are things that can be done, and they are doing some of this in Pasco County. ugh issue. That deals with clustering density. acre block and put acre home sites on d do some things like that.

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19 But even with that, the problem is everything needs to get back to economics. And when the guy transfers his density he could, if he sold it in five acre blocks. So DC: Sure. it reaches a point where the individual property rights begin to affect the collective. DC: Absolutely. WM: So densities. Whatever is done needs to be economically based, incentive based. ever been able to make this work. But to take density for example, they talk about density credits, a man selling his density down in a rural ar ea for a guy to take it into an urban density and come out whole. He g ood [answer] for that. much water. out example. WM: Okay. DC: If I give you a glass of water that came out of the ground, when you flushed the toilet in there a little while ago, that water came out from up the hill there, a couple of hundred yards. And it w ent back in the ground right here by the house. You just borrowed a little bit of [water] for a while.

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20 Where you live in Tampa, when you flush [the toilet] it goes to the treatment plant, a long way off and [it] either ends up as reclaimed water somewher by pass canal. Well, n back in the ground. So that part of it is a little different. [a solution]. DC: will. me make sur Tallahassee and they approve of it. DC: Uh huh. WM: Who makes those decisions? How does that work? DC: The planning staff. W M: The planning staff? DC: Yeah. WM: And they come out of the county commissioners? They are part of county government? DC: Right. They are educated planners that, I guess take input from citizens. At least ey take. WM: (laughter)

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21 DC: Then [they] come up with recommendations for a plan. WM: Uh huh. DC: Some of that stuff gets to be very academic and not very practical. Gran? WM: You said that he [Stephen Gran] worked hard and knew what he was talking about. DC: Basically, what I was saying, and I think I told the man, Stephen can take information, discern facts from fiction. In other words, if somebody is blowing smok e. And take that information and make practical use out of it. There is a great deal of difference between idealistic issues and realistic things. Planners, sometimes, can get very idealistic and not very realistic. Ah and sometimes that gets to be an issu e. DC: Absolutely. WM: Sometimes that does get to be confusing. people. Typically planners have very litt know that they are supposed to, okay? But I would say that they have very little appreciation for them. They are drawing lines on a map and those lines have tremendous impact on people, economically. And the DC: Very abstract! ultimately benefited people. It [helped] organize the farmers and who had peo ple participating in democracy. WM: You were talking about things are going to keep getting smaller. That the urban service area, the rural area would be divided up into small er lots, rather the zoned land would be cut up into smaller and smaller lots. DC: Absolutely. Smaller pieces of property. The big parcels you see this right now. Our land has appreciated in the last three or four years.

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22 No, le in value. Now all of a sudden Obviously commodity prices (strawberries, orange s, etc.) some of them have gone up, some of them have gone down return on your assets (Your ROA [rate of return]) have really shrunk. So you take a man million dollars, that was worth four hundred thousand dollars, five or six years ago? WM: Some of the orange growers I talked to said the exact same thing. They hated to sell bu t in a way they had to. It was the best opportunity they had. DC: Right. WM: You said that the ROA. That stands for? DC: Return on assets. DC: Agriculture, the dollar volume will continue to increase. The land base will conti nue to shrink. What will happen [is] you will see a conversion from low intensity agriculture, citrus low intensity. Those commodities are going to leave. Hugh Gra are going to take over (that being the strawberries and foliage people, nursery people). chance

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23 grove or lease it to a berry growe r. But it will stay in agriculture. WM: I interviewed Mike Lott [see Mike Lott interview with Bill Mansfield 6 23 06] He the citrus, cattle That has enabled me to continue to enjoy what my family has done for generations and that is agriculture. Otherwise, ther smarter [chuckles].) WM: (laughs) Well how has you said that the land appreciation has really gone up in the past five years. What are some other changes that you have seen? What part of the county do you want to talk about? If you want to talk about the south part of the county, the re has been more change in the last five years, from River View, south to the Manatee County Line than there was in the last five hundred years. What that change has been is hose agricultural areas, the [?Dickman?] Family, the ?], the [?Councils?] are no longer in agriculture. (Some are still farming in a limited way, but most of them stand it. They h ad an economic opportunity to do something there and have done it. come. a generation change. The fathers and grandfathers that bought that land and made a good living growing citrus, or tomatoes, or whatever they were doing, the I will tell you t hat a man in 1950 that owned a hundred acre orange grove was [a] wealthy individual. A man that owns a hundred acre orange grove today is starving to death. difference.

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24 WM: Could you explain that? DC: Yeah, the cost of the commodity, over the last fifty years has not risen as rapidly as the costs have. In citrus the main cost is the labor. The cost of picking that citrus today itrus prices in the last year. Three years ago, two years ago revenue. That five or forty percent, but the commodities enough mon ey to keep a hundred acre orange and make a living out of it. expense. five years. One h undred fifty million boxes of oranges. And y million boxes of oranges that would have never Talk about border patrols and things. DC: They have them, but Tape 1 ends; tape 2 begins. DC: most of the fruit is still picked by hand. So that will tell you something. WM: You talked about the changes in the s outh part of the county, what about other parts of the county? DC: That was the southwest part of the county. The southeast part of the county is still now) the Keysto ne area all over there on the western side, that land has become pricey!

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25 The land in the Plant City area, the land that was $10,000 an acre, five years ago, is now $40,000 Ask Stephen [Gran], he can get this information for you. How many permits have been pulled, how many more houses are in this area, than there were five or six years ago. You ca live a little outside of town. [They] want a little bit of land. They got I 4 to go to to wn. WM: (laughs) They can get on I 4 to sit in traffic. amazed everybody. Folks still keep coming. DC: They still keep coming. The hou sing market backed off some. Slowed down some. There will be some slow down, but if you look at the long term, if you look curve, the curve is going to remain pffft [makes a whistling sound to indicate rapid acceleration] going up, when you talk about the density of people moving to Florida. As long as that WM: (laughs) I can understand that. to co to the general public. The man that owns the land needs to be compensated for it. When we talk about density we talk about the urban service area. We need to realize that the reality is while it may call for a certain amount of density, public outcry will be such that the [county] commission w ill weaken and that density will not go in those areas to up] of properties outside of the urban service area. They are going to continue to get smaller and smaller and smaller. the resource, whether it be through desalinization, whether it be th rough reservoirs? We e a

PAGE 27

26 are going to go into foliage Twenty yea and this will raise some m ore questions. (laughs) DC: (laughs) Yea h. need permission. your picture? DC: No. WM: Okay. Well let me turn this off. End of interview


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