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August 29, 2006, Clay County Public Meeting

Description

The public meeting was held at the Thrasher-Horne Conference Center located at the St. Johns River Community College, 283 College Drive, Orange Park, Florida. The public meeting began at 2:00pm and concluded at 8:00 pm.  Aerial maps of the proposed corridors were made available. Court reporters were available for those wishing to make a comment and FDOT personnel were also available to discuss the project and answer any questions throughout the public meeting. The FDOT made the announcement that the Pink route is the locally preferred corridor. 

Meeting Comments


I support the pink plan - Shands Bridge location


Please consider making this project a toll road like the Florida Turnpike. The Florida Turnpike system is excellent and it's self-supporting. If you did this, we wouldn't have to wait 25 years to complete the project.


Approve pink route.


If it must be constructed, we support the pink or brown corridors.


1. I prefer the PINK route for this road

2. In order to build this road quicker - I am in favor of a toll road.


The pink (modified) route will do much to help increase the tax base by allowing new light industry. Congratulations!


Go for pink! Smartest and least impact on existing homes. Toll roads are a WONDERFUL idea! Drivers need to pay their share - we subsidize the automobile too much now. You did a great job! Let's move dirt!


Use the pink route (keeps hazmat in same corridor near facilities using items keeps emergency training in that same corridor.

Go with the toll road

GET R DONE!!! DON'T WAIT

Step on toes if you have to.


Common sense did prevail. Thanks for taking the best route overall for the future of this area. The pink route was my choice all along.


Prefer the pink route to open up Clay County transportation and help with a reverse transportation patter. In addition, the pink route is better for hurricane evacuation and assisting Camp Blanding Joint Training Center. Clay County needs the outer beltway more south to help develop higher skilled/higher wage jobs, which needs access to a limited access highway for the movement of goods.


I prefer the pink route. I think that is a good idea.


Looks like the best alternative to me. Let's get it built.


I support the pink crossing.


I support the pink crossing at Shands Bridge location. No question best crossing for all concerned.


We support the Pink plan - Shands Bridge Crossing.


Obviously the best choice/good work!


I believe the pink route provides for longer term sustainability for NE Florida regarding increasing mobility of goods and people, promotes economic prosperity

and preserves the quality of the natural environment and established communities. The pink route relieves traffic congestion and helps quality job growth.


Am thrilled the southern route is preferred because Clay County needs to open itself up to bring businesses in so we can keep the citizens in Clay County to work. The tax base has to increase!! But, we need a true outer beltway - further west and further south. We need evacuation routes in order to get the coastal communities from Palm Coast to St. Augustine to go west. Clay County Commission, St. Johns Commission, Chambers, City of Green Cove all support the pink route. But, let's build it for the future - go further west - further south.


I prefer the Shands Bridge Crossing


I would like to know if you have any idea what is going to happen to Hwy 90 (Beaver) between Halsema and Baldwin. Will it become all commercial?


Is there anything I need to know of the widening of Chaffee from I-10 to 103rd also Normandy and Hammond Blvd.


I support the "Preferred" pink route that would use the Shands Bridge corridor. The pink route will best serve Clay County by pushing the growth away from established areas.


The pink alternative is obviously the more politically-development choice. Loss of Shands Bridge will force travel on a toll road. The purple alternative is the better choice for all except the few who will profit the most. Politics! IF we the public, who depend on the roads and bridges "as is" to traverse the river, allow this to happen; then we deserve it. Weak excuses for the pink alternative are politically motivated and developer biased. Loss of Shands Bridge and free travel is a mistake we shall regret for all our futures. It's just wrong!


This project should not encroach on residential neighborhoods any more than absolutely necessary.


It still appears that the Ravines powerline should be considered because Pink route does not allow commercial develop, displaces too many people and the majority of the people in Lake Asbury and Green Cove Springs wants the Ravines powerlines versus any other route.


Is the 218 bypass going to connect to 17 and go through the nursery on 315?


1. I am opposed to a toll road. Close family members live in St. Johns County and a toll road would mean expense to me to visit family, plus according to the routing, a longer path.

2. I strongly believe the corridor should follow the paver line route instead of cutting through existing residential development. This would also spur economic development on outlying areas increasing revenue for the county.

3. It is frustrating to me to have a limited access road cut through my neighborhood and not provide any real benefit to me.


I came to the workshop because the paper reported that there were some new proposals. But after speaking to DOT representatives I see that they are only minor shifts at mainly interchanges. After going to several workshops, listening to the Clay Chamber discuss the urgent need for economic development and reading any and all information I can get my hands on concerning "bedroom communities," tax bases, and other terms just a few years ago I was not as familiar with, I am still convinced that this beltway needs to go as for west as possible. That means further west than the pink route. I attended the original "power line" meetings years ago. You had the right idea then. Now residential growth has changed the entire project. This county needs an outer beltway. But it needs it in the right place.

 

A more westerly route will also facilitate a better evacuation route. The idea is to transport people as quickly as possible, as far away from the coast and waterways as possible and a more westerly route would help to accomplish this. We don't want yet one more parking lot.

 

Please consider all of the open territory this county has to offer that would accomplish these goals. Industry has to have property accessible to them in order to build. They won't build in the middle of a subdivision. If they have to purchase homes for the right-of-way it will drive the cost of their project up and they will choose another location instead.


Appreciate that none of the proposed corridors enter Black Creek Ravines Conservation areas.


This project will take a party of my family's property. I definitely oppose this project!


This project will have a negative impact on the communities of Clay County. The road seems to benefit only truckers who will use it as a 295 bypass. There is no benefit to the residents. If there is anything I can do to voice my opinion against this project - count me in! There is more to life than money - that's why we moved here!


We support the southerly route with a bridge passing over the St. Johns River in the area of the existing Shands Bridge. We believe that commercial and industrial growth in the county would be more likely to occur if there was four lane road access to I-10 and I-95. In turn more clay County residents would work in Clay County and relieve current roadways from traffic going to places of work in Duval County.


My wife and I have been residents of the Town of Orange Park since 1962, in which time the municipality has changed from a quiet little country town to a horrific traffic bottleneck. Let me state emphatically that I disagree with the Clay County Chamber of Commerce in their wanting the beltway to cross the St Johns River south of Green Cove Springs. The Buckman Bridge has reached the saturation point. By crossing the river to the north of Green Cove Springs would relieve some of the pressure on the Town of Orange Park.


We are in agreement with both the Clay County Board of County Commissioners and St Johns County Board of County Commissioners in their support of the southerly route for the Outer Beltway. As we consider the future of both counties, the southerly route would clearly provide the greatest benefit.

 

Clay and St. Johns Counties are in desperate need of alternative transportation routes and economic development opportunities. The northerly route can be best described as a commuter route and would ensure that Clay County remains a bedroom community to Duval County. The southerly route presents a tremendous opportunity for economic development for both counties with minimal disruption to existing neighborhoods. With the potential business growth that will result from this transportation improvement, both Clay and St. Johns counties can achieve more balanced economies and diversity their respective tax bases. At the same time, many residents should be able to shorten their commute distances to work.

 

With the goal of economic development in mind, we question the current proposed alignment of the Pink Corridor through the Lake Asbury area within clay County. Further, as the contract purchaser and developer of the Saratoga Springs DRI, we object to the location on the westerly boundary of the proposed DRI project which has a materially adverse impact on our proposed development plan. In the St. Johns River Crossing Corridor Study (Corridor Study) prepared by FDOT's consultant, the "Final Draft Corridors" slide has the Pink Route west of the alignment now shown by FDOT. This was the alignment at the time we conducted the pre-application conference for Saratoga Springs. We are not aware of any public discussion or notification as to the movement of the Pink Route alignment and question the justification for such movement. A review of the adopted clay County Lake Asbury Master Plan (LAMP) Map (attached) indicates the Activity Center is to the west of the current proposed Pink Corridor alignment and proposed interchange at the CR 218 Bypass. The corridor Study that FDOT originally adopted showed the Pink Route and the corresponding interchange at the CR 218 Bypass within the LAMP Activity Center. According to the LAMP, the Activity Center land use designation "...is the 511 acre commercial hub of the Lake Asbury planning district. This land use category will accommodate a range of activities from employment-based office, large-scale retail, light industrial, civic, and recreational uses, as well as multi-family housing." The LAMP further states, "Future development in the Activity Center will require a cooperative effort between both the public and private sector to ensure that local services and infrastructure meet the anticipated demand." conversely, the new Outer Beltway alignment proposed by FDOT has the interchange with the proposed CR 218 Bypass within the Master Planned Community land use designation, which is designed to "be in the form of walkable communities," according to the LAMP. Based on the intended land use designations of the LAMP, it would clearly be beneficial to use the alignment originally proposed by the Corridor Study, allowing for the interchange to occur within the Activity Center.

 

In addition, a review of the new proposed Outer Beltway alignment would require significant impacts to both higher quality wetlands associated with Peters Creek and to valuable upland habitat, commonly referred to as biological hotspots. The current proposed Pink Corridor would cut through the middle of valuable upland habitat, which is shown as an Environmental Sensitive Mitigation Area on the proposed revision to the LAMP Master Plan Map (attached). An alignment further to the west through the Activity Center would avoid this environmentally sensitive area.

 

Clay County has conducted numerous workshops and hearings over the past seven (7) years to obtain public input with regard to future development within the LAMP area. Much of the discussion has focused on the desired location of the Outer Beltway, which will have a tremendous impact on the resulting development pattern in the LAMP area. Based on this public input and state agency review, the Clay County Board of County Commissioners adopted a conceptual Outer Beltway route west of the current location through Lake Asbury that maximizes opportunities for economic development while protecting valuable natural resources that define the character of the Lake Asbury area. It is important to note that the impacts to existing communities remain consistent whether the east or west alignment of the Pink Corridor through Lake Asbury is selected.

 

We appreciate the opportunity to provide commend and urge FDOT to proceed as diligently as possible on this critical transportation improvement. Based on the facts presented herein, we strongly recommend that FDOT use the pink Corridor alignment as originally presented in the Corridor Study and as depicted on the Proposed Lake Asbury Public Facilities map.


The purple or black choice of river crossing would prove to be more beneficial to the existing population of Clay County. I think it is criminal to tear down the Shands Bridge - a free bridge and replace with a toll bridge. Once again the "Powers that be" get their way over the needs of the people. Why should it be any different now. We've been waiting 30 years for 220 to be four laned and have sidewalks!


The purple route is the best of those proposed. This one will help to solve some of the local traffic problems better.


The pink route is not the route which would be the most common good. The bridge needs to be between the Shands and Buckman Bridges!!!


One of the purposes of this project was to ADD a river crossing, to enhance the existing. Single point of failure. The purple route aids more motorists for a heck of a lot less money. The pink and brown routes maintain the same traffic problems that are there now. For once, get ahead of the game - build a crossing that will help more motorists and take some of the huge savings and four lane the Shands.

Also, what about the Hall family deed restrictions on the use of the Bayard land? What about the small bear population in Bayard? And, there is an occasional panther sighting in these areas.


I prefer the purple route for the crossing. I feel it would relieve Orange Park traffic better than the others. We should concentrate on our local traffic and what is best for Orange Park.


Pink route is the way to go. What can we do to get state legislature to fund it and get behind it so the DOT can get on with it?


I'm very delighted to find out today that the pink corridor is the preferred route. I hope this does not change between now and the final decision.


I am very happy to see that the pink is the preferred route.


Prefer the pink route. Meets Clay County long range plans for expanding south. Will better suit the County in the long run.


1. How would I get to US 17S and go south to Green Cove Springs - will there be an access to US 17 south from 209 North?

2. It appears there is no access to US17S from Mahama Bluff? How will these people go from the river (end of Mahama Bluff) to US17S?

 

 

 

 

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