On May 26, the city and county commissions are scheduled to vote on Comprehensive Plan amendments that will lead to a 2800-acre enlargement of the Welaunee development north of I-10. This will be a virtual meeting and no citizen comments will be allowed during the meeting. Keep It Rural, the Alliance of Tallahassee Neighborhoods, the Democratic Environmental Caucus, Tally100, and StandUP TLH oppose these amendments, especially without real public input.
WE URGE THE COMMISSIONS to delay the vote on the Welaunee amendments until the public can be heard.
WHY WE OPPOSE THESE AMENDMENTS
- The substantial expansion of the Urban Service Area to the northeast conflicts with the Comp Plan’s directive to make better use of the available resources to the south, while lessening development pressure in the north and east. Areas inside the existing Urban Service Area still lack urban services such as central water, sewer, and transit, and the analysis of the amendment does not explain how local government will address these deficiencies while expanding the Urban Service Area.
- The expansion of the Urban Service Area by 2,800 acres is premature, as according to the Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department’s own projections there is enough land to accommodate projected population growth through the Comprehensive Plan timeframe.
- The Master Plan for Welaunee perpetuates low-density, auto oriented development despite the City’s commitment to eliminate the use of fossil fuels by 2050 and the County’s commitment to sustainability.
- The Master Plan inadequately addresses affordable housing.
- The Master Plan, intended to provide direction for the review of subsequent incremental development plans, is inadequate due to the lack of a phasing plan and the absence of design guidelines to address, among other things, energy efficiency, pedestrian access, and crime prevention.
- The County Commission’s reversal of its decision to delay the May 26th public hearing, and both commissions’ decision to proceed without public comment at the meeting violates open government principles. A virtual meeting without real time public comment is a slap in the face to the public. City and county commissioners have voiced their commitment to restoring trust, transparency, and public participation in government. The virtual meeting scheduled for May 26th fails on all three counts.
- The crushing economic disparity and segregation that has resulted from unbalanced growth into the northeast cries out for more equitable development. Since the City annexed Welaunee over 30 years ago our community has seen many changes. We have had 30 years of sustained development in the northeast but very little public and private investment in the southern parts of the city and county.
- We face a pandemic that will have long term economic impacts; this is not the time for local government to take on an obligation to fund infrastructure for a new unneeded northeast development.
Contact: Mike Brezin, Alliance of Tallahassee Neighborhoods, 386-6767