LETTER TO THE EDITOR: The last resort?

March 13, 2021
By Marcy Shortuse

To the Editor,

“… some rich men came and raped the land, nobody caught’em. Put up a bunch of ugly boxes, and Jesus, people bought’em. They called it paradise the place to be. They watched the hazy sun sinking in the sea…” 

– The Eagles

When I drove past the property at 13000 Gasparilla Road and saw the for sale sign, my heart sunk. Then I read Marcy Shortuse’s piece in the Beacon, this song’s lyrics became clear. Because the reality of what could potentially happen to this property became real. Some rich developer will come and rape the land, put up a bunch of ugly boxes, and people will purchase their piece of paradise. But at what cost to the area?

I am blessed to drive past this 91-acre property daily, as are many people that work on Boca Grande, or surrounding businesses. A sense of calm and joy at the simple beauty of untouched land always causes me to smile because there is so little of it left. The livestock wandering the property drink from the various ponds and munch the grass. Do the bee keepers still even keep the apiaries as active honey producers? The house sits as a reminder that someone lived there to care for the land. 

For reasons only known to the owners, and according to Marcy’s article, the same BS  that seems to always happens has happened. From the wonderful article in Gasparilla Magazine, we got a glimpse of what the owner’s vision was for the land. Keep it the way it is. Expand on what use would most benefit the property and the surrounding communities. Now they have chosen to sell this property and move to the mountains of Colorado.

Now the land sits with gates closed, a large “for sale” sign sits in front, and we the residents of neighboring communities wait. Wait for what? An RV park? Cookie cutter houses? I don’t know the actual available uses for this land, commercial/agricultural, residential. Maybe all three? But as Marcy also pointed out, there have to be people of means (cash) that could come together as a group, to preserve the property now, then research the usage of the acreage. And let me just also say I am sure the affluent residents of Boca Grande/Placida and surrounding areas have no doubt been asked to support/ fund/ donate to more charitable organizations than any of us could know. That must be a reality for them (I wouldn’t know). I also believe that there are passionate people who want to keep our area  and that property as is. Finding and rallying those able to do so can only be done by one of them stepping up to the plate, then making their “team” of investors see the benefit of such a project.

I pray that my humble writing sparks someone to see that preserving 13000 Gasparilla Road is not only a good thing, but the right thing to do. Otherwise, someone will come and put up ugly boxes. It will be paradise lost. 

“They call it paradise I don’t know why, you call some place paradise, kiss it goodbye.”

NJo Guppy Powers

South Gulf Cove