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Keystone Connection News - Happy Hanukkah & Merry Christmas! DECEMBER 2023

Updated: Dec 28, 2023


Picture of the Month - Life in Keystone

A Note From Your Editor, C. Leonard


Happy Hanukkah & Merry Christmas to all!

This is the season of giving and to share LOVE.

It is that cheerful, love sharing, decorating, eating, gift giving, time of the year for most families.

Yet, we have some families who are struggling, this is what the gift of love, giving and compassion is about. Pray for and help others (thy neighbors far and wide). Some have lost loved ones, have no family, others may not afford a nice meal or to make/buy a gift. In the large picture, GIVING should be all year around to share the love and self-less act in our hearts. Enjoy your Holidays and most important, share the LOVE. We thank Publix for coming through to support our Holiday Food donations! 23 Meals were received and distributed by a couple KCA volunteers and President, Clara Lawhead. THIS is what the season is about!

Happy Hanukkah,

Merry Christmas and

Happy New Year!

Cheers to 2024!

This brings to mind one of God's important laws that reflect on communities entirely, especially one as special like Odessa/Keystone, my 50+ years home. Exodus 20:16, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor". In sum, be a good human. Read Story here

Join a committee! We need help on Events and other committees. Community is about working together, stick together, build together, respect everyones differences. Volunteer today! Email us at: Don't forget to please share hot news and topics, pictures of the area, recipes, and interview availability. Email

"Kindness and compassion come from within. They are innate in all of us, and are part of what make us human." CL

Please support our amazing Business Sponsors featured in this newsletter!


Due to the Holidays General Meetings are not scheduled for November or December.

Enjoy your holiday, be safe, full of cheer and love those who are dear!

If you would like to be a volunteer at our General Meetings set up please click button to email our meeting Chair!




by Clara Lawhead, Chair

1. RZ-STD-23-0443 (Gunn and Racetrack Road) The site at the SW Corner of Racetrack Rd / Gunn Hwy is currently zoned RSC-2 with 2.3 acres +/- .This was presented to BOCC on 12/15/23 and was not approved.

3. SU-LE 23-0498 - (Lutz Lake Fern Land Excavation)

The applicant has requested a by right continuance to the 2/13/24 BOCC Land Use Meeting. This will be their final hearing opportunity per the Land Development Code, which permits only a maximum of 6 months from the initial hearing date. Interested parties contact for more information.

BOCC Date: February 13, 2024

Current Variance requests in place are:

1. VAR-23-0949 18825 Gunn Hwy, Odessa Florida. This variance request is to build an 8-foot surrounding wall system on all sides of the property. Current code (Part 6.07.00 Fences and Walls) allows for a 4-foot height on Gunn Hwy and 6 foot on the sides and rear. A letter has been sent to the BOCC for record by KCA, not in support of this request as it does not comply with the KOCP Plan. Public hearing was on 12/19/23. This will go before the BOCC after the hearing master submits her opinion upon review of documentation provided at the hearing not included on original application. BOCC date TBD.

TO OPPOSE this application, send your letters in to the BOCC NOW. Click HERE to instructions and links. Our RESOURCES page also has direct links to the BOCC website for submittals. Be sure to include the Case Number and address.

Attached is a rendering of their request, to include 2 neighbors who were in support of the project proposal.

18825 Gunn Hwy Hearing submittals 12-19-23
Download PDF • 413KB

Final Update on Patterson Road Development Case

Patterson Road Case Information: The Trial was held on NOVEMBER 13, 14, 15, 2023. RE: Case Number: 22-CA-004745

Judge Ruled on this case :

Court concluded that development rights were granted under the 1991 PD Zoning on the property TM purchased were valid (no sunset on this), and vested rights order did not need to be obtained.

Buck Lake is protected to only current land owners, therefore TM was in violation of the PD mandate to limit access to Buck Lake of which abuts the property and constitutes an alteration in the intensity and use not contemplated by the PD zoning. They are prohibited from any such development without approval from the County. This prohibition includes construction of the stub-out depicted on the Construction Permit.

Final Judgment was in favor of the Defendants.


Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Ken Hagen is Re-Elected a 7th Term as Chair.

Congratulations to Ken Hagen. Keystone has appreciated his long time support of our area and attending to inquiries as presented to his office. We look forward to Hagan's continued support of the Keystone Civic Association and help to maintain the integrity and preservation of our Keystone/Odessa area.

Hagan, represents District 2, has served as a commissioner since 2002. He has served as the county commissioners representative on key economic development boards including Visit Tampa Bay, Tampa/Hillsborough Expressway Authority and the Tampa Sports Authority, as well as the Florida Association of Counties and the Hospital Authority.

Herein is a current list of our BOCC Commissioners selected representing interests:

Affordable Housing Advisory Board – Gwen Myers

Arts Council of Hillsborough County – Pat Kemp

Aviation Authority – Harry Cohen

Children's Board of Hillsborough County – Gwen Myers

Environmental Protection Commission – Gwen Myers and Harry Cohen

Hillsborough Transit Authority (HART) – Gwen Myers, Michael Owen, Joshua Wostal and Donna Cameron Cepeda

Hospital Authority – Ken Hagan and Donna Cameron Cepeda

Juvenile Justice Board – Donna Cameron Cepeda

Port Authority – Michael Owen

Public Safety Coordinating Council – Donna Cameron Cepeda

Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council – Member, Harry Cohen; alternate, Donna Cameron Cepeda

Tampa Bay Water Board of Directors – Harry Cohen and Joshua Wostal

Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. – Ken Hagan

Transportation Planning Organization – Michael Owen, Harry Cohen, Gwen Myers, Pat Kemp, Joshua Wostal and alternate Ken Hagan

Tampa Sports Authority – Ken Hagan


Proposed Amendments to our KOCP Plan County is Planning to Impose

Provided by T. Lawton

Here are the proposed amendments that the county is attempting to make to the comp plan, to leverage against what we currently have in place. Read PDF Below:

CPA 23-18 Comprehensive Plan Text Amendment
Download PDF • 758KB


KEYSTONE CURRENT MONTH (link included to Hillsborough County Zone Hearing Maps Look Up).

To support or oppose the applications submitted your letters can be sent to:


Learn About The Zoning Process and See Available Resources : Click Here




County Connections

Recent Updates as of 12/18/2023

by C. Leonard

Growth in Unincorporated Hillsborough County by 2050

By 2050, Unincorporated Hillsborough County is expected to have 39% more residents and 43% more jobs. In this article, we will be reviewing projections for the entire unincorporated area, Northwest, South Central, and the Rural Service Areas and looking at projections for the 24 unincorporated planning areas in our largest and most populous jurisdiction.

Access 2050 Transportation Plan Needs Assessment : Read more




What constitutes a call to the County or Code Enforcement :

  1. Illegal dumping or activity.

  2. Illegal FILL of property in low wetland areas that do NOT have a Permit.

  3. Anything "noticeable" that does not indicate a permit that conforms to the KOCP or County Plans.

For IMMEDIATE action, you can do this in one or two ways: Call Code Enforcement or Non Emergency Sheriff OR go to this link online and report CODE VIOLATIONS.




Rural Life In Keystone

Picture of the Month

Rudolph the deer wanders Odessa
Rudolph Broke Loose in Odessa FL


"Rudolph Running Loose"

Only in Keystone can you find Rudolph running loose in the area. He will reconnect to Santa's Sleigh by Christmas Eve! We are certainly blessed to live in our amazing rural Keystone/Odessa community.






Nominating committee formation and its task (3 members – 1 board, 1 general and 1 from either).

The KCA Nominating Committee has been formed and (1) General Member is being asked to be a part of this committee. Elections will be held in March 2024. Thank you to our volunteer(s) for what they do each year without any benefits, but to give to our community!

Please contact our Committee Chair, Jan Nelson at if you have any questions.



County Information


Christmas Availability

Clerk Offices will be closed on Monday, December 25th & Tuesday, December 26th, 2023, in observance of the Christmas holiday. Staff will be ready to assist with filing for restraining orders from 7am until 10am at the Edgecomb Courthouse located at 800 E. Twiggs St. Tampa. Save time this holiday season with 24/7 self-service options, available on

Property Fraud Alerts

Hillsborough County has become a hotspot for Property Fraud. We have been spreading the word about our FREE property fraud alert program that alerts homeowners when a document is processed in Hillsborough County using their name or business name. In November, we had 10,202 new homeowners sign up! Have you registered yet? It’s free and can be done in under 5 minutes using your desktop computer or mobile phone! Learn more about free property fraud alerts here.

Domestic Violence Injunction Filing Expansion

The Clerk’s office handles 6,700 domestic violence injunctions every year, and we’re always looking for ways to remove barriers for victims. Recently, we realized victims needed more accessible locations to file protective orders. Through partnerships with local enforcement agencies and crisis centers, we’ve expanded across the county with new filing locations in Tampa, Temple Terrace, and Plant City. With this expansion, victims have additional safe and discreet places to file for help. Learn more about our Domestic Violence Services here .



Florida Water Management

Water News You Can Use

Southwest Florida Water Management District sent this bulletin at 12/19/2023 08:02 AM EST

The District is under a Modified Phase I Water Shortage Order due to ongoing dry conditions throughout the region and increasing water supply concerns.

The restrictions apply to all of Citrus, DeSoto, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and Sumter counties; portions of Charlotte, Highlands and Lake counties; the City of Dunnellon and The Villages in Marion County; and the portion of Gasparilla Island in Lee County through July 1, 2024.

In addition, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties are limited to once-per-week lawn watering. These additional restrictions are needed because Tampa Bay Water, which supplies water to most of the three-county area, was unable to completely refill the 15-billion-gallon C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir this summer due to the lower-than-normal rainfall.

Residents are encouraged to check with their local governments first because stricter measures may be in place. To learn your watering schedule and get complete details on water restrictions, visit

Katherine Munson, the District's water conservation education expert, explains why we should conserve water and offers tips. Listen to the Water Matters Podcast.




Support the Adopt A Road Project SIGN UP TODAY!

New Dates are available and are on the EVENTS page to sign up for our next schedule of clean ups in 2024!

We hope to see you or your family members attend to have a fun community involved morning.


You can receive community hours by volunteering!

We ask our community to PLEASE participate in this effort, as the more hands on deck the better our area looks! With increase of traffic on Gunn Highway a major thruway, comes more "trash" by disregarding people driving through our beautiful community.

It is our mission to keep it clean and we thank Jim Gothard for leading this charge. Please Register Today online on our Events Page : Adopt a Road Registration

Or email us at to sign up!




KCA Holiday Food Drive GIVING was a Success!

23 Dinner Boxes were donated and distributed to those in need within our Odessa/Keystone area today 12-21-2023

Update by C. Lawhead

Thank you to Steve Ellis, Manager and Team at PUBLIX for their support and gift of giving donations!

Steve Ellis and Clara Lawhead are both members of the board of directors on Feeding Tampa Bay.

KCA, Keystone United Methodist church, Publix and Feeding Tampa Bay all linked up to make 35 less fortunate  families have an incredible holiday feast! 


This is what Community is about! Bringing joy to ALL those who are in need.


Defining Community through Biblical Law, the Simple Truth

By C. Leonard (references include the Bible and wiki)

The holidays, end of year is a time most humans reflect on what they've accomplished in the year, what we have experienced as a whole, and where we wish to be in future years to come.

In the end, such the case for Odessa/Keystone, it has been an ongoing challenge to bring a growing community together to preserve the rural life style everyone seeks to experience and maintain. Through these challenges come misunderstandings as not all humans have the same views, or care to learn new information, every human perspective will never be the same. This is individuality and a right for every person be entitled to their own, private and personal opinions.

Selfless acts/gestures to be a good person are what count, to be a great steward of God's will no matter your religion, race, or color. This is where the simple divine words of respect and love come in to Love Thy Neighbor,  Exodus 20:16. The "Key" to community survival is do not always believe what you hear or see as there is always another side to the story, and all facts may not be as presented with truth as the person sharing may have a self served agenda. There is nothing to gain but destruction when Satan tries to step in and use people who may be weak or volatile to disrupt strength, peace and love we nurture to have. Listen to your heart, where God speaks! He shares undeniable truth through discernment.

Many residents who have lived here their entire life 40 years+ do care, and hold deep in their hearts the spirit of "neighborly love and support", without judgement fortifying our Odessa history, friendships and community. This is what Keystone Civic Association was founded on. We follow God's Ten Commandments one of which holds strong to maintain the solid community we strive to preserve.

Fact: Exodus 20:16 is one of the Ten Commandments widely understood as moral imperatives by Jewish, Catholic and Protestant scholars.

Herein is a summary found from ancient beliefs defining Exodus 20:16: 'Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor' :

Wiki Reference:

The command against false testimony is seen as a natural consequence of the command to “love your neighbor as yourself”. This moral prescription flows from the command for holy people to bear witness to their deity. Offenses against the truth express by word or deed a refusal to commit oneself to moral uprightness: they are fundamental infidelities to God and, in this sense, they undermine the foundations of covenant with God.[7]. The Hebrew Bible contains a number of prohibitions against false witness, lying, spreading false reports, etc.[9]

This exemplifies much of what happens behind closed doors, whether it be in private or public groups, county and state affairs that will fall under the judgement of God in the end. As per recent cases in our community.

This law from God is broken daily for the mere acts of Money-Greed, Self-Righteousness, Envy, Ego, and Power. "You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice, nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit." ~Ancient understanding

With all this shared my wish and prayers for our community in this season and the New Year, is to preserve its history, nature, human values, and future. For all members, neighbors and local governing to become ONE through following God's simple laws to share love, freedom of choice, living and good will. Karma is real - Note: this widely used statement is not meant for any one person, it is utilized much in Hindu and Buddist beliefs as the sum of a person's actions are viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.

Sending Love, Light, Peace, and Blessings to all for 2024.




Through sense of community we help others. KCA is sharing information on organizations that can use our help!


Healthy Updates


A Special Family Holiday Recipe!

Granny Freeman's Egg Nog

By C. Leonard

This recipe is another all time favorite family recipe to heighten all Holiday Spirits with a very spirited recipe! It is certain to enhance your holiday experience! This is a family recipe that was handed down for years from my husbands Grandmother. You will never buy store Egg Nog again!

Prep Time: 30 mins Nutrition Profile: Protein, Vitamin D


  • 12 Eggs Separated (two bowls)

  • 1 Cup Sugar or 1/4 Cup Stevia

  • 1 QT Whole Milk

  • 1 QT Heavy Cream

  • 1 Cup Rum

  • 1 Cup Whisky (Canadian type - can substitute with White Christmas Brandy)


1. Beat egg yolks with sugar until very light and fluffy. Add Milk, Whisky and Rum. You can do this early and cover put in fridge.

2. Close to serving time (about 1 hour), in two large bowls, whip the heavy cream, and beat the room temperature Egg whites until very stiff.

3. Fold in the Egg whites into the Egg Yolk Mixture.

4. Fold in the Whipping Cream into the Egg Yolk (NOG) mixture

5. Serve with Grated Nutmeg on top of the foam

Enjoy this great Holiday Family Recipe that is sure to warm your hearts and make you GLOW!







is in Action!

We would appreciate everyone who can volunteer to help in the success of the Spring Fling 2024 Event!

We need your help!


The committee Chairs have begun their pre-planning for the Keystone Spring Fling Event 2024! It is our wish to make this one larger and even better than last year! So many wonderful business vendors look forward to participating. We will have amazing new guests lined up for 2024!

As we receive confirmations, updates will be made to the Spring Fling Event Page on our website! Stay Tuned. Meanwhile, sign up to volunteer!

Please reach out to if you would like to sign up on this committee.

Visit our Spring Fling Web page for more information.


Be involved with KCA


Below is a list of our Committees. If you are interested to be more involved with KCA, we would love to have your support by joining one of our committees below.

Simply click the link to directly Email the Committee Chair to SIGN UP or for inquiries! It is our goal to make "communications" easy for our members.


Have any Questions? Please Email Us.


Next General Meeting will be on January 25, 2024!


Thank You to our Keystone Business Sponsors for their continued support!

Interested in supporting KCA by becoming a Business Sponsor?


Key Upcoming Dates

December 14, 2023 KCA Board Meeting

January 11, 2024 KCA Board Meeting

January 12, 2024 "Movies in the Park" at Keystone Park

January 25, 2024 General Membership Meeting

February 24, 2024 Adopt A Road Clean Up Keystone Park

April 27, 2024 Adopt A Road Clean Up Keystone Park

June 29, 2024 Adopt A Road Clean Up Keystone Park

August 31, 2024 Adopt A Road clean Up Keystone Park

October 26, 2024 Adopt A Road Clean Up Keystone Park

Committee Meetings: TBD by Chairs via email / phone

To Sign Up or View all Dates go to our Events Calendar Page


Membership Updates

Please be sure to keep your information up to date i.e. email, phone and address. Please include your spouse name in your membership information so we may acknowledge your family member(s). Renew or become a member Link Here

Have questions on membership OR if you have any updates to your email as this is the MAIN source to contact you please contact us at or via the website inquiry, someone will respond as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience.


You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

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