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Keystone Connection News- May 2024

Water quality expert, Jody Harwood, Ph.D, professor, Department of Integrative Biology, USF spoke at the April 2024 meeting. Thank you Director Heather Heath for the below photo.


HC/CPA 23-18: KCA voted to oppose the Rural Area Utilities Policies Amendment.

Please email the BOCC to Exclude Keystone from County Water and Wastewater Policy 23-18 amendment or Vote NO.

We received clarification from Kevin S. Moran, of the Environmental Services Division

of Hillsborough County after our April meeting regarding sewer hook up. A homeowner who seeks a permit to replace or install a new septic will not be granted a permit and will be required to hook up, if sewer is available, barring very unusual circumstances.

This is an important position to understand as we face HC/CPA 23-18. For those of you who attended the February 15th "water meeting" hosted by Hillsborough County's Planning Department at the park you may remember that Melissa Dickens from Plan Hillsborough told Keystone residents that there are no past documented or current environmental issues with septic tanks in Keystone. Our current policies prevent clustering here in Keystone. The existing language in the Comprehensive Plan for Unincorporated Hillsborough County already has schools, libraries, and similar public interest sites as an exception to the current policy.

The intent of the original language in both the One Water policy and our future land use policy is to preserve rural area, small-scale development. The urban service area only has 20% of buildable or re-developable land available. The primary intent of this amendment is to address septic tanks yet it addresses hook up to county water as well. The new language seeks to change from one connection to "may subdivide" as well as changes 1000ft to 1/4 mile, both of these are substantial deviations from the current policy. There is nothing in writing within this amendment that says you do not have to hook up to county utilities. Yet, environmental services has stated a permit will not be granted for a replacement or new septic once public utilities exist.

This amendment would be detrimental to our local plant nurseries, horse farms and large parcels. Our April speaker, Jody Harwood, discussed how diseases are spread when centralized water systems become compromised and how wells are protected from these types of outbreaks. This amendment does not add any additional safeguards for septic but instead will allow developers to extend utility lines into rural areas which is not allowed under the current One Water policy. It is very expensive to deliver public utilities out to the rural areas yet this is where the developable land is located. Many developers are willing to assume these costs in exchange for developing. If these concerns are relevent to you, please email all county commissioners to oppose this comprehensive plan amendment or to exclude Keystone which is a viable option for the county. Email all the commissioners at to exclude Keystone.

Emails due May 7, 2024 or letters can be hand delivered to the hearing on May 9, 2024.



On Tuesday, May 14th at 7pm, there will be a community meeting at Camp Brorein in Keystone-Odessa to discuss a variance for a non-conforming 12,000 sq ft new dining hall.


Everyone in Keystone is invited to attend. The Boy Scout Council has graciously offered their camp as a meeting place to answer any questions or concerns from surrounding neighbors and the community. They are also serving light refreshments for the meeting.

Location: 16901 Boy Scout Road Odessa, FL 33556

(The entrance is next to Raprager Family Farms)



The May Speaker, Riley Maseda, is a

Tampa native and longtime Keystone Resident. He and his wife, Gloria, own Tampa Bay Nursery, located at 9905 Gunn Hwy, where they offer full scale landscaping. Riley served for 15 years as a TPD Detective performing many duties to include hostage negotiation. For 48 years, he has offered great insight into local horticulture tricks. He has experienced the water wars and understands local issues. Social at 6:30, Meeting at 7:00PM



When choosing a speaker for general meetings, what are the topics of interest you'd like from an expert guest speaker?

  • Public safety topics

  • Gardening/Agricultural topics

  • Local non-profit/philanthropic opportunities

  • Environmental topics








Why I volunteer to pick up litter on behalf of Keystone Civic Association?

By James Gothard Jr

There are 3 main reasons. First, we have a 30+ years committed obligation with Keep Tampa Beautiful - Adopt a Road program to conduct a minimum of 4 cleanup events a year on our sponsored section of Gunn Highway running from Van Dyke Road to Tarpon Springs Road. Second, our section of road has very heavy vehicle traffic that produces litter on the sides of the road in the grass area. If we did not clean the litter up on a regular basis there would be a bunch of litter that inhibits the grass and flowers to sustain. Since we have focused on our section of road the last few years the grass condition has greatly improved, and we are now seeing various colors of wild flowers appear. Third, I volunteer because I enjoy and take pride in keeping our Keystone roadside looking clean, I get some good exercise while walking and picking up litter and I get to meet new people plus we always make sure we have a good time!

We have the 2024 cleanups scheduled for that last Saturday of each even month, so our remaining 2024 schedule is June 29, August 31 and October 26. We meet at Keystone Park and start at 7:15 AM to avoid heavy traffic and the heat. We always have HCSO Officer Tobias there to provide us excellent protection coverage, so we all remain very safe during the cleanup!

Please consider joining us for roadside clean-up events. Click here to register for one of the remaining clean-up opportunities.



By Jane Whitehurst

We all have encountered the dreaded Solenopsis invicta, fire ants pictured at left.  They are an invasive species that made their way to the United States and fell in love with Florida.  One queen can have 40 to 150 mounds with underground tunnels that go vertically and horizontally.  If you step on their mound, you know it instantly.  They do not run and hide, they ferociously attack whoever is threatening them.  There mounds look very disorganized but don’t let that fool you.  It is an effective system.  

Fire ant specialist are now focused on using chemicals that sterilize the queen and future queen ants.  This is much better for the environment and the chemicals do not hurt the pyramid ants.

Pyramid ants have organized mounds with a circular depression in the middle.  Do not worry about stepping on their mound they will just hide until the threat is over.  They do not bite and are one of the few predators of the fire ant.  Pyramid ants are indigenous to Florida, and they have an important purpose.  They are great for the environment because they eat unwanted insects.  

Look at the pictures and do not panic next time you step on a pyramid mound.  A healthy lawn will have a lot of pyramid mounds.  Please do not kill them they just might stop you from getting bit by a fire ant. Remember, always work with nature instead of against her.


KEYSTONE MAP: The Boundaries of the KOCP

 Membership Updates

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



Spring Fling 2024 Chili Cook-Off Champs, Jennifer and Brian Hall of Xtreme Window Cleaning and Pressure Washing. Click on their picture to go to check out these Tampa native's local business.

Check out artist, Jessica Henson with Matthew Henson, VP/Sales Director of Adorn Murals. Jessica had a live backdrop painting during Spring Fling 2024. Click on the picture to go to Jessica's Instagram account or email her at 


Upcoming Key Dates: Join Us

May 9, 2024 KCA Board Meeting

May 23, 2024 General Membership Meeting

June 13, 2024 KCA Board Meeting

June 27, 2024 General Membership Meeting

June 29, 2024 Adopt A Road Clean Up Keystone Park

July 2024 No General Membership Meeting


Our Members are the heart and soul of KCA. 

Please Visit Our Business Members & Sponsors- Click on the business image to go to their site.


HAVE ANY QUESTIONS?  Let's explore vital topics together. What is important to you? Let's chat. Email us at

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