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Byline: Steve Schroer STAFF WRITER
For years, Charlotte County has waged a wildly successful two-pronged attack on parks.
Government never planned for them, and the people refused to pay for them.
In one instance, in 1987, 400 residents packed the County Commission chambers to shout down a $12-per-lot assessment that would have generated $5 million a year for parks improvements.
So fierce was the protest that one man had to be removed by deputies, two people were overcome by heat exhaustion and the hinges were busted on the commission chamber doors.
Among the county's predominantly retired population, few wanted to foot the bill for new jungle gyms and soccer fields. A 1996 study by Wallace Roberts & Todd found Charlotte had a severe shortage of "active recreation" parks, including zero regional parks where planners said it should have three.
But growth and changing demographics brought a new push for parks to the fore - combined with a new willingness …