Sunday, January 4, 2009


When I was a kid and we'd make the drive from Gainesville to Orlando on the Turnpike, we'd fight the monotony of driving through seemingly endless miles of orange groves by trying to be the first one to spot the Citrus Tower peaking above the trees. It stood out, a white beacon through acres of green leaves, signaling that we were in the land of attractions.

Today's Citrus Tower is landlocked by development. Acres of concrete and asphalt make up the scenic view from the top. I was actually shocked to see one little grove across the street. It's for sale, however, and might not be there for long. Clermont looks like they have given a blank check to developers to do what ever they want on it's rolling hills.

But I wonder if today's economic situation might actually help the situation. Maybe no one can afford the little grove across the street or the land right behind the Presidents Hall of Fame. Florida's history is pock-marked with cycles of boom and bust. I moved to Central Florida during a period of rampant growth and saw buildings sprout up like weeds. Now for sale and for rent signs pop up everywhere, older buildings might actually be preserved and the few patches of green might stay that way, just because the money to replace them is not available.

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