LAND O’ LAKES — Every day, Elizabeth Villanova drives past a series of vacant buildings and eyesores that dot the 7-mile stretch of U.S. 41 between the State Road 54 intersection and her home in Connerton.
She’s waited eight years for things to improve. When they didn’t, she and other Land O’ Lakes residents asked Commissioner Mike Moore to do something.
“There’s a lot of old buildings, some of which are abandoned,” Villanova said. “Over the course of time, they have just become more and more dilapidated.”
There’s the old McFarlane’s appliance store just south of Hale Road. In February, Pasco County condemned that building, which has sat vacant for years. Drive a few more blocks and you’ll see a two-story apartment building that dates back to 1940. The building has broken windows and no electrical service and is filled with junk. It was condemned a month ago.
“People are ripping doors off and living in them,” Villanova said. “You have to wonder who’s squatting in these buildings. We don’t want to be a community that makes it easy for crime to happen.”