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Keystone Connection News - Happy New Year~ JANUARY 2024


Picture of the Month - Life in Keystone

A Note From Your Editor

Happy New Year! May it be a prosperous, healthy new year 2024 for all.

It is that time to start the New Year with our list of resolutions. Whatever the resolution may be, enjoy life while you do it, take care of you, family and community.

Join a committee! We need help on Events and other committees. Community is about working together, stick together, build together, respect everyone's 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!


Next General Meeting

JANUARY 25, 2024

Social/Sign In 6:30 PM

7:00 PM- 8:30 PM Meeting

with Special Guest/2023 KCA Grant Recipient

"Owl's Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife"


Special Presentation by HCSO on Crime in Area & Traffic Issues

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, Co-Chair

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

Borrow Pit on Lutz Lake Fern Road

HISTORY: The original approval occurred in 2008 under SU 06-0975 for the removal of 2.5 million cubic yards over a 10 year period. 

In 2011 under SU 10-0547, the permit was extended to December 19, 2021 along with other modifications. 

In 2016, SU 15-0914 was approved to add additional area to be excavated (from 52.79 acres to 64.6 acres), increase the amount to be excavated (from 2.5 to 3.3 million cubic yards), to allow a setback waiver along the northern boundary, to modify screening conditions, to allow the on-site storage of crushed concrete and asphalt millings, to allow a certified traffic controller (in addition to an off-duty HCSO deputy) to direct traffic, and, to modify previously approved conditions that required the applicant to be responsible for road repairs to Lutz Lake Fern Road.

Under SU 21-1224, the applicant proposed no changes except to extend the expiration date by 10 more years. As of August 2021, 1,096.854.4 cubic yards had been excavated. A total of 2,203,145.5 cubic yards remains to be excavated under previous approvals. Waiver(s) to the Land Development Code: 6.11.54.A.2.d (500 to 250 ft distance waiver to residential).

Planning Commission Recommendation: Inconsistent and Development Services Recommendation: Not supported

Petition #: 22-1330 to create an RV Park.  Agencies Objecting: Natural Resources, Transportation. 

(X) This agency objects, based on the listed or attached issues.

1. The reclamation of this site per the requirements of Land Excavation Operating Permit 08-1-LE#6 must be completed, and the financial security released prior to the approval of the rezoning.

 2. An evaluation of the property identified the potential existence of significant wildlife habitat as delineated on the Hillsborough County Significant Wildlife Habitat Map. The potential for upland significant wildlife habitat within the boundaries of the proposed application shall require the site plan to identify its existence by type (mesic or xeric) and location and how the Land Development Code preservation provision for upland significant wildlife habitat will be addressed.  A portion of the mapped upland significant wildlife habitat appears to have been destroyed during the land excavation activity on this site. The remaining area must be preserved and may not be impacted by proposed RV spaces. The proposed RV spaces and access road must be relocated out of the remaining upland significant wildlife habitat. Areas of wildlife habitat that have been impacted by unauthorized activities will require restoration and preservation. The owner withdrew the petition.


SU 23-0498 Special Use Land Excavation.

This petition goes directly to the BOCC on Feb 13, 2024. This excavation began in 2008, now 16 years later the owner is asking for another 10 years.  26 years of this destruction, violations, noise, heavy hauling trucks on two lane rural roads is unjustified and unreasonable.  Countless violations have been recorded by SWFWM, Hillsborough County EPC, Natural Resources and Transportation.

The applicant should not be granted ANY waivers, as he has not complied with the conditions of his prior Special Use approval and Operating Permit. County staff recently cited him for digging   as much as eight feet deeper than his current permit allowed in some areas of the pit.  His justification when cited was that he had not created any negative impacts by digging that deep.

Borrow pits are meant to be temporary uses, not permanent.  Please consider writing into Optix for the record to voice your opinion on SU 23-0498.      

Use this email to get your letter into the record:  

BOCC Date: February 13, 2024 Submit your letters to BOCC

Current Variance requests:

VAR-23-0949 18825 Gunn Hwy, Odessa Florida. 8’ concrete wall on  Gunn Hwy & Tarpon Springs Road

January 12, 2024 Land Use Hearing Officer Decision:

Based on the evidence and testimony submitted in the record and at the hearing, including the Development Services Department staff report, the applicant’s testimony and documents, and the opposition testimony, there is no substantial competent evidence demonstrating the requested variance for a 2-foot increase to the maximum permitted wall height to allow a height of 8 feet for a proposed masonry wall meets each of the six criteria in Section 11.04.02. of the Hillsborough County Land Development Code.

VIII. DECISION:  Based on the foregoing, the applicant has not satisfied the criteria for approval of the requested variance for a 2-foot increase to the maximum permitted wall height to allow a height of 8 feet for a proposed masonry wall, therefore the request is DENIED.

Our RESOURCES page also has direct links to the BOCC website for submittals. Be sure to include the Case Number and address for projects that concern your immediate area.


Unincorporated Hillsborough County Future Land Use Update

 by C. Lawhead

Planning Commission Public Hearing was held on January 22, 2023 5:30 PM.


The proposed updates to the Future Land Use Section of the Comprehensive Plan went before the Planning Commission on January 22 for recommendation and will go before the BOCC in early 2024 for final approval and adoption. The FLU Map will be updated subsequent to final approvals.

The Future Land Use (FLU) Section of the Comprehensive Plan is being updated to serve as a long-range guide for future land development in unincorporated Hillsborough County and will result in updated policy recommendations.



Planning Commission To Host Meeting at Keystone Park Recreation Center

FEBRUARY 15, 2024 AT 6:30 PM

Review of proposed updates to the Community Plan(s).

Update 1/2024

If you would like to attend the virtual meeting available on Feb.13, 2024, the content of the meeting will be similar to the Keystone meeting, but they will also have technical experts from Water Resources, Development Services, etc. at that virtual meeting. Here is a direct link for registration for the HC CPA 23-18 meeting:

Attached below (PDF) are the proposed amendments the county is attempting to make to the comp plan.

February 15, 2024 at 6:30 PM The Planning Commission will be hosting a neighborhood meeting at the Keystone Park Recreation Center to discuss this proposed comp plan amendment (PDF below).

This amendment for the Unincorporated Hillsborough County Comprehensive Plan, HC/CPA 23-18, developed with support from the Environmental Protection Commission (EPC), modifies Rural Area water and wastewater (utilities) policies with the primary intent of addressing negative impacts from septic tanks.

Proposed changes include new policies to allow for Rural Area utility extension for documented environmental issues caused by septic or private/franchise infrastructure and to prevent the clustering of new septic tanks. Staff also recommends an update to an existing policy regarding connections to adjacent utility infrastructure to allow additional units to be served, reducing the number of potential new septic tanks and private wells. Additionally, HC/CPA 23-18 adds a new policy to outline the process for enabling Rural Area utility extensions serving unique circumstances when there is an overriding public interest, as determined by the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners. 

The preliminary text of the amendment is available below. The proposed language will be updated in late January, prior to the virtual public meeting, to incorporate feedback from the BOCC, received at their December 13 workshop.

Planning Commission staff are still working on responding to a statutory requirement. This will be plan amendment HC/CPA 24-01.

"163.3177(6)(c.3) Within the local government’s jurisdiction, for any development of more than 50 residential lots, whether built or unbuilt, with more than one onsite sewage treatment and disposal system per 1 acre, the element must consider the feasibility of providing sanitary sewer services within a 10-year planning horizon and must identify the name and location of the wastewater facility that could receive sanitary sewer flows after connection; the capacity of the facility and any associated transmission facilities; the projected wastewater flow at that facility for the next 20 years, including expected future new construction and connections of onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems to sanitary sewer; and a timeline for the construction of the sanitary sewer system. An onsite sewage treatment and disposal system is presumed to exist on a parcel if sanitary sewer services are not available at or adjacent to the parcel boundary. Each comprehensive plan must be updated to include this element by July 1, 2024, and as needed thereafter to account for future applicable developments. This subparagraph does not apply to a local government designated as a rural area of opportunity under s. 288.0656.'

The final language is still subject to change per internal vetting and agency comment.

Read PDF Below:

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

To view their recent newsletter with more information click link:


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

To support or oppose the applications submit your letters to:


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




County Connections

Recent Updates as of 01/12/2024

by C. Leonard

Monday | 01.22.24 | 3:00 pmPlanning Commission Public Hearing on the County Future Land Use Section Update | County Center | 601 E. Kennedy Blvd., 18th floor | Tampa





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



"Big and Little

Friends come in all sizes with big hearts looking out for little ones. 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.




The Florida Legislature was at it again. 

What happens in other areas of the State will affect ALL other areas. This is why we like to share what is happening in our neighboring areas of Florida such as the Everglades.

House Bill 789, filed by Rep. Toby Overdorf, is the latest in a slew of bad bills that aim to undercut citizens' rights. If passed, it would force anyone who challenges and loses a Florida Department of Environmental Protection or water management district decision to pay the other side’s legal fees. It would intimidate citizens and effectively prevent them from filing a challenge, because they literally can’t afford to lose. Phone calls are the most powerful way to weigh in. Call Rep. Cindy Stevenson’s office in Tallahassee at (850) 717-5018 and ask her NOT to put HB 789 on the agenda for the Water Quality, Supply, and Treatment Subcommittee. For more details about the bill, use this LINK  for more information.


An early legislative WIN in Tallahassee

You read that right: We scored an early win this week in Tallahassee, during the third week of the Florida Legislature's annual session. Many of you contacted Rep. Cindy Stevenson, asking her NOT to agenda a bad bill proposed by Rep. Toby Overdorf that would undermine citizens' rights to challenge environmental permits and other state agency decisions. On Monday, the problematic language was removed from a new version of the bill.

It's proof that paying close attention, and weighing in early, can pay off. Thanks to those of you who raised your voices, and to allied groups like Florida Springs Council who helped lead this fight. It made a difference!




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!

Update by C. Lawhead

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

Wrap up of the Keystone Holiday Food Drives (November & December 2023):

  1. Over 3,000 pounds of food collected in November and distributed to two local pantries in Odessa. Total Poundage collected:   3000# divided by 1.2 = 2500 meals

  2. Collected Food Gift Cards:  $480 = 4800 meals in Grocery Store Food Cards given directly by KCA to our local FTB pantries

  3. Full Turkey Dinners:  162 + 22 = 184 x 20# = 3,680# divided by 1.2 = 3067 meals Turkey Dinners for families in need provided by Publix’s donation program via Steve Ellis and delivered by KCA President Clara Lawhead and representatives from Keystone United Methodist Church’s pantry.  Additional dinners were distributed to Monica (from Steve Ellis of Westchase Publix) for a total of 35 complete dinners.  Each dinner weighed at least 20 pounds.  35x20#= 700#


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





for our Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office (HCSO) and

Hillsborough County Fire Department (HCFD)

by Jan Nelson

KCA Food Pick Up at Winn Dixie Deli

Community plays an important role in the support of our first responders. It is a show of community engagement, recognition and appreciation.

Our Sheriff and Fire Departments are public servants that unselfishly protect and serve our community and the Keystone Civic Association takes pride and joy in providing the means and the ways to show our gratitude.

In December a group of us picked up a finely prepared meal of fried chicken, sides, dessert and drinks from a prideful team of Deli staff at our local Winn Dixie.

KCA Delivers Food to HCFD 12-24-23

Our first stop was the Fire Department on Van Dyke. What luck, as it was a slow time of day so we received the 50-cent tour of a portion of their work place. After setting up the food in the kitchen/living room we were able to walk around the fire trucks and visit with the Firemen. Spotless equipment and fun stories. The appreciation was reciprocal.

I learned that I now understand why calendars with fire fighters are so very popular!

Next, we trotted off to the Sherriff’s department in Citrus Park by the mall. We were greeted by one of the officers and dropped off the buffet of food. Again, the appreciation was reciprocal.

KCA Committee Delivers Dinner to HCSO 12-24-23

Continuing to support the First Responders is a priority of the Keystone Civic Association.

Please reach out if you would like to volunteer for this important and oh so gratifying committee work.


Healthy Updates


Did You Know...

You Can Lose Weight With Resistant Starch

By C. Leonard

A small nutrient in every day foods can turn the tables on colon cancer and weight loss. Resistant Starch (RS), in foods like green bananas, cold pasta, coarsely milled grains do not digest like other starches. Instead of breaking down in your small intestine, it passes through to your colon, where it ferments. This makes it more like fiber. That's the great news according to a study from Washington University, for your colon. Resistant starch sweeps away cells with damaged DNA, cells that may otherwise turn cancerous. Like fiber it adds bulk to stool to move it more quickly through the digestive tract. It also nurtures growth of friendly bacteria in your colon. These bacteria lower pH levels inside your colon and produce short-chain fatty acids.

Easy way to burn fat and halt hunger. Not all carbs are alike. Some are good for melting away fat, controlling appetite and improving insulin sensitivity. The problem found is people eat the wrong type of carbs. Carbs that digest slowly, such as resistant starch (RS) can help you in several ways:

Burn more fat. Getting 5 percent of your daily carbs as (RS) resistant starch, helps you burn at least 20 percent more fat, especially around buttocks. This special starch produces the SCFAs (short-chain fatty acids). These cause your liver to burn body fat for fuel. The effect is long-lasting and you don't have to make major changes to your diet.

Satisfies Hunger. New evidence from research shows resistant starch may help regulate your appetite by affecting the hormone - leptin, which switches off your hunger signal.

Store less Fat. Resistant starch seems to change how the body stores fat. The SCFAs it produces help control the growth and spread of fat cells. That means adding more resistant starch to your diet could keep you from putting on fat, plus help control your blood sugar and insulin levels naturally.

You can get more RS simply by making smart food choices. Replace the starchy foods you normally eat with those high in resistant starch. Super sources of RS -Resistant Starch are : green bananas, cold pasta, cold boiled potatoes, pugged wheat cereal, white beans, lentils, pumpernickel bread, muesli.





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 is on January 25, 2024 with

Special Guests from Owl's Nest and HCSO Speaker!


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

Interested in supporting KCA by becoming a Business Sponsor?


Key Upcoming Dates

January 25, 2024 General Membership Meeting

February 8, 2024 KCA Board Meeting

February 15, 2024 HC Planning Commission Meeting at Keystone Park Rec Center

February 22, 2024 General Membership Meeting

February 24, 2024 Adopt A Road Clean Up Keystone Park

April 6, 2024 KCA Spring Fling Event

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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