Overview of Keep It Rural’s Participation in Development of the Welaunee Arch Master Plan
Current Status. The action taken by the Joint Tallahassee-Leon County Commissions during the Welaunee Arch Master Plan (WAMP) workshop was not the motion proposed by Keep It Rural. We specifically argued against Option 1 (staff recommendation for the WAMP) and Option 2 (to conduct the adoption hearing on November 10). We proposed an Option 4 directing staff to revise the WAMP to include our Parks and Greenways Plan including the Refuge-Habitat Park that would encompass Land Use District 5, to incorporate a Transfer of Development Rights mechanism to implement the Refuge-Habitat Park, and to schedule another joint workshop in November 2020. We also spoke in favor of ATN’s, KHA’s, and Buckhead’s comments. What transpired is that the commissioners voted for Option 1 and Option 2, and included a provision for an optional open space transfer mechanism that could be used to create a Refuge- Habitat Park. They did direct staff to work with community stakeholders and to cross-reference and harmonize inconsistencies in the WAMP including the use of “shall” vs. “should.”
The KIR board presented a webinar introducing the Citizen’s Master Plan for Welaunee along with an analysis of the current status of the development. Attached is a video recording of the presentation and comments by the public who attended.
We are providing a copy of the presentation for review by the public, staff and commissioners.
Leon County Commission Adoption Public Hearing and Workshop / Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 6 p.m., Fifth Floor, Leon County Courthouse To submit written comments for consideration by City and County Commissioners visit LeonCountyFL.gov/PublicComments before 8:00 p.m. on Monday, October 12, 2020. Written comments received by the public will be posted on the City’s website in advance of the hearing.
Interested parties wishing to provide virtual real-time public comments must complete and submit the registration form provided at https://www2.leoncountyfl.gov/coadmin/agenda by 8:00 p.m. on Monday, October 12, 2020. If these links are not working, please complain to the city/county commissioners.
After weeks of negotiation, a settlement agreement was recently reached through the legal mediation process. As part of the agreement, Keep It Rural, Inc. will purchase all commercial development rights to the property and end the permit–forever!
Now KIRC must raise the final funds needed to meet the settlement agreement terms. We are off to a very strong start, but have one last fundraising hurdle to clear. We have raised more than two-thirds of the funds needed.
It started with a proposal for a gas station and convenience store at the corner of beautiful Miccosukee and Crump Road. This proposal unearthed long unused rules in the land use policies of Leon County. We all soon discovered that these policies and the regulations that implement them allowed a lot more commercial development in the rural areas than anyone, including the County Commissioners, County staff, Planning Staff, residents, everyone! want.
So now the Keep It Rural Coalition is doing many things! We’re trying to stop the proposed gas station AND bring rational land use policies to Leon County so that the rural areas remain rural. We’re educating ourselves, Commissioners, staff and Leon County residents.
Miccosukee and Crump – where it began!
Miccosukee Road is an old canopy road with huge trees forming a beautiful canopy along its entire length. At the Crump and Miccosukee intersection sits at the end of the eight mile long Miccosukee Greenway – a beautiful rural park that connects into the City of Tallahassee, many miles away. Along Crump Road are crop fields, horse farms, sod farms, houses on lots of acres and miles of frontage of the Welaunee Plantation pine forest.
From a rural landscape to an urban one – NOT WANTED HERE!
A permit for a large gas station and convenience store near the intersection of Crump and Miccosukee Roads in Leon County was approved May 8! This proposed development for a gas station is the first and only one that has been submitted for permitting in the rural area since the adoption of the Comprehensive Plan in 1992. The design is for a large station with seven pumps and a 3000 square foot convenience store. In addition, there is an impervious area exceeding 26,000 sq. ft. – more than half an acre of asphalt and pavement!