New East-West connector from Mack Bayou to 395

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by Kurt Lischka, May 26, 2005.

  1. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    The County will hold a meeting at the South walton Annex 6/16/05 from 6:30pm-8pm to discuss a new roadway from Mack Bayou Road (north of Sacred Heart Hospital) to 331 and from 331 to Hwy 395 (old Point Washington / Eden State Gardens). They will have maps and drawings, and give a presentation.

    I don't know if any of the new road will cross State lands, but there was loud objection when a new North-South connector was proposed recently from 98 to 30-A just East of Seagrove. It seems to me North-South connectors will be needed more.

    But then again, 98 is getting crowded also.
     
  2. GraytonBound

    GraytonBound Beach Fanatic

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    Re: New East-West connector road meeting 6/16/05

    Pardon my stupidity, but why is it a bad thing to have a north-south connector :dunno:
     
  3. JB

    JB Beach Fanatic

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    Re: New East-West connector road meeting 6/16/05

    I'm not seeing where it would be a problem either. Then again, I am not a full-time resident. I guess they are worried about development, but it's coming - whether another road is cut from 98 to 30-A or not. I think another road in Seagrove east would be a good thing. It would certainly eliminate some of the traffic logjams at 395/30-A.
     
  4. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Re: New East-West connector road meeting 6/16/05

    When 30-A becomes a parking lot and traffic does not move it may happen then.

    There is a fear here that "give an inch and they'll take a mile" will happen when it comes to protected lands. There was a battle for the land that the South Walton Annex (South Walton Government and Education Center - GEC) was built on since it was part of the State Forest. The County won and maintained that the center was part of the original plan.

    You Have to go back a few years to understand how SoWal got where it is today. Here's some background:

    The South Walton Conservation and Development Trust (SWCDT), established by the Florida State Legislature in 1993, created a plan in 1996 to preserve this pristine, pedestrian-friendly area surrounded by open space and greenways.
    The SWCDT was charged with preparing an overall environmental survey of South Walton's 56,000 acres and recommending development plans to determine how the area should evolve. Approximately 25,000 acres are owned by the State of Florida and protected from future development, leaving 31,000 acres to protect and manage responsibly.

    An internationally recognized team of town planners, economists, environmentalists and transportation planners produced a blueprint for future development and a vision for the community: diversify the economy, preserve the environment, and keep the unique heritage alive for residents and visitors.
    Duany Plater Zyberk were included - see their promo page.

    This plan strikes a balance between on-going development and careful preservation of natural resources that make SoWal an appealing destination for those seeking a slower pace. Since the Comprehensive Plan includes strict building codes that ban buildings over four stories high, drivers can meander down Scenic Highway 30-A and experience a generous view of the destination's pristine coastline.
     
  5. Advance The Man

    Advance The Man Beach Lover

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    Re: New East-West connector road meeting 6/16/05

    Not that I am some crazy bleeding liberal, but there can often be some bad with this type of right-of-way. If it bisects a crucial wetland or grassy swamp, the impervious surface of a new roadway impacts the sheet flows of natural drainage of these wetlands and swamps. They have nowhere to 'flow' and become stagnant, which in turn can kill the native growth, which may impact native animal species, etc.
     
  6. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    Re: New East-West connector road meeting 6/16/05

    ... and many people's objections were that the proposed road was leading right to WaterSound from Hwy 98, and thereby directly benefitting St Joe, at the expense of the Taxpayers and the State's protected forest.

    Looking at the big picture, the answer is much more complicated than, "Yes, let's do it, or No, we cannot do it."

    There are many examples around the State of Florida were the State Forests have been developed. Someone on this Board in the recent past wrote about the idea of a canal being made through the State Forest from the Bay to the Gulf. That idea is not impossible to conceive, and it could be rather scary. Anything can happen in this world.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2005
  7. JB

    JB Beach Fanatic

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    Re: New East-West connector road meeting 6/16/05

    I think that was me who mentioned the possibility of a canal. I heard some guys talking about it in Borago a couple years ago, and it is certainly a possiblilty when things really start booming.

    But I don't think they would cut it all the way through to the gulf. That would be a disaster. Probably an upscale marina basin/condo development north of Watercolor. A helluva long way to East Pass from there, though.
     
  8. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Re: New East-West connector road meeting 6/16/05

    Here's the ad, click to enlarge. Looks like the road will be an expanded Chat Holly as expected. The Eastern portion looks like Point Washington Road, which would change a lot of quiet neighborhoods, and/or it will cut through State Forest.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2005
  9. phdphay

    phdphay Beach Fanatic

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    Re: New East-West connector road meeting 6/16/05

    Money is power. St. Joe's can get away with murder because of this. Watercolor and Watersound are the worst things that have ever happened to 30-A. The high-density developments have exponentially increased traffic on 30-A. I really think that the only solution to the congestion that these developments have caused is additional outlets from both Watercolor and Watersound, north to U.S. 98, to relieve the traffic on 30-A. The thought of multilaning 30-A just pukes me. If that's going to happen, I'll sell my property before the bubble bursts because it would totally destroy what attracted me to 30-A. :sosad:
     
  10. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    Re: New East-West connector road meeting 6/16/05

    I am not sure that you understand what the Mack Bayou Study (East / West Corridor) includes. It has nothing to do with 30-A, nor does it touch any St Joe land.
     
  11. phdphay

    phdphay Beach Fanatic

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    Re: New East-West connector road meeting 6/16/05

    Guess I don't. I've been out of touch due to personal issues. However, I still feel that St. Joe's major developments have jeopardized the 30-A ambiance.

    However, please correct my ignorance on this particular issue.

    Thanks, Smiling JOe. You are always there for us.
     
  12. phdphay

    phdphay Beach Fanatic

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    Re: New East-West connector road meeting 6/16/05

    I just bought one place in a six-home development - I didn't develop a kajillion homesides, so it's not my bad! Furthermore, Seaside and Rosemary aren't as huge as Watercolor. I remember people getting ticked off because of ... woo ... "large signs" on 30-A. That seems innocuous compared to rush hour on 30-A today. I'm certainly not the 'ho that's pimpin' 30-A.
     
  13. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    Re: New East-West connector road meeting 6/16/05

    Enlarge the pamplet which Kurt posted a couple of posts ago, and read it. You should be able to see the plans.
     
  14. phdphay

    phdphay Beach Fanatic

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    Re: New East-West connector road meeting 6/16/05

    Okay, Smiling JOe, I enlarged the map. It's difficult to see. What's your take on it?
     
  15. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Re: New East-West connector road meeting 6/16/05

    I believe he is referring to the fact that the project is north of 98 and will not affect 30-A traffic.
     
  16. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    Re: New East-West connector road meeting 6/16/05

    My understanding is that the State is pushing us to create more evacuation routes. Also, the County is also looking ahead so that we don't have one main road running east / west, creating traffic nightmares like Destin. There will be good and bad effects of creating such a thing.

    I have said for a long time that I could see Chat Holley becoming restaurant row in the future. My guess is that much of the property on both sides of Chat Holley and Churchill will change zoning to commercial. We will probably see 3 lanes of traffic instead of two (maybe later in time). I see some bulldozers at work already on property between 393 and 331, the Charles Forman property.

    Obviously, on the east side of Hwy 331, there are many issues involved with making major roads through so much State Forest. Of course, Doodle Harris has just paved over a mile of road through the State Forest to access the Estuary, so I don't expect much resistance to this idea of extending the connector road through Hwy 395. For some people in the area of Point Washington, the drive to the Blue Bar and the Sea Bar will be a straight shot, so maybe that is a good thing?

    Unfortunately, it seems that each time we have important meetings such as this, I am scheduled to be out of the area. I look forward to a full report from someone.
     
  17. phdphay

    phdphay Beach Fanatic

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    Re: New East-West connector road meeting 6/16/05

    Thanks for the info, Joe.

    "3 lanes of traffic" - where? YOU TALKING 30-A? THEM'S FIGHTIN' WORDS!

    Congratulations to Doodle for staying busy paving and out of you-know-where. I hear that his beachfront lot in Seaside is on the market. But then I hear that just about everything on 30-A is on the market because people are afraid the bubble is about to burst - my sister says that the number of "For Sale" signs is amazing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2005
  18. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    Re: New East-West connector road meeting 6/16/05

    No, my guess of the 3 lanes is along Chat Holley (north of 98). One of
    "Doodle's" lots is for sale. For a long time he had a Seacrest sign posted stating "Seacrest owners and guest only." Now it states, "Harris Family Only."
     
  19. phdphay

    phdphay Beach Fanatic

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    Re: New East-West connector road meeting 6/16/05

    That's interesting!
     
  20. beachtobayconnection

    beachtobayconnection Beach Crab

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    Re: New East-West connector road meeting 6/16/05

    Kurt,
    Correction to your comment on the State Lands and road proposed through Point Washington State Forest and Deer Lake State Park.

    The South Walton Conservation and Development Trust ?s final recommendation was for the disposal of over 3,000 acres of State Forest and Park Land. This included 80 acres off of Satinwood Drive, 120 acres in Blue Mountain and 250 acres in Seagrove behind Cassine Gardens. The County?s scheme was for the State to turn the 3,000+ acres of Forest and Park land over to the county so they could sell it to developers. This was the meat of the battle to save the state lands not The Government and Education Center or as it was known at the time, ?new town?.

    The North-South Connector road through Point Washington State Forest and Deer Lake State Park was all about traffic concurrency on 30-A. Developers couldn?t get approval in Seagrove without more trips.

    Why not a road through conservation land? Some of the reasons are that the area between 395 ( Seagrove highway) and the east end of 30A is the largest unsegmented tract of Conservation and Recreation land in South Walton. Segmenting large tracts destroys and reduces functional habitat. Also this area contains a number of wetlands and rare species. Recreation trails used by both residents and visitors are located in this area.

    Humans are so arrogant that we think nothing of destroying God?s Creation for excessive profit and convenience.

    Celeste Cobena
    www.beachtobay.org
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2005

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