1. The Urban Services Area (USA)
Designating the USA is a policy tool to indicate where development will be supported with utilities (sewer, water, electricity, etc.) and facilities (schools, parks, roads and public transit). The provision of these resources helps direct development into the USA. Creating a more compact, well serviced area is cheaper for the governments (i.e. taxpayers) and often cheaper for the household and business in the whole.
The Comprehensive Plan creates the USA and what it is supposed to accomplish. Notice that this is the FIRST Objective of the Land Use section of the Comp Plan!
The USA is designated by a dark red line. It is most prominent in our area running through Welaunee Plantation, north of I-10, between Centerville and Miccosukee roads. Note that its most eastern edge is well west of Crump Road. To the north it includes Killearn Lakes and the Bradfordville Commercial District. It includes a lot of area along Meridian Road and North Monroe as it skirts the western side of Lake Jackson. It wanders out Blountstown Highway to Geddy Road. Southward it includes Lake Munson and much of the “triangle”. Then it loops eastward again capturing all of Southwood and the expansion of this large development and then way out like a finger pointing east along Appalachee Parkway to Chaires.
Many analyses have been done in recent years to figure out if there is “enough” room for population growth of the County and Tallahassee. ALL of these analyses have resulted in conclusions that there is PLENTY of room for lots and lots of population growth and economic development for our region inside the USA of Leon County. The results range from 50 to 200 years of “room”. This wide range of results is due to the assumptions used for the analysis about rates of population growth, how dense development can be, how much land is protected from development, where utilities such as wastewater (sewer and cluster systems for dense development) and water are built and how many more lanes to put on roads and how many new roads to build, or bus systems and sidewalks, etc.
Notice right after the creation of the Urban Services Area is Policy 1.1.1 that creates Rural Communities. You know these places – they have names! Woodville, Fort Braden, Chaires, Capitola and Miccosukee. These communities are identified as locations to allow more residential and commercial development to help foster a village/community center. This development must be designed to retain the rural character of these communities. But these communities are where commercial development outside the Urban Services Area (USA) is supposed to be directed. Building elsewhere dissipates this directive and under-values these communities.