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scenic highway designation update

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by SoWalSally, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. SoWalSally

    SoWalSally Beach Fanatic

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    From Walton Sun

    The Scenic 30A Corridor Advocacy Group plans to showcase the county road?s assets to state officials on Oct. 27.
    At a meeting in the Tourism Development Council?s office CAG outlined the 19-mile tour and what resources will be highlighted.
    ?Intrinsic resources would be cultural, educational, recreational, archeological, historic and scenic, some of the top stops will have multiple intrinsic resources,? Claire Bannerman, CAG coordinator said. ?The parks will have of course educational, recreational and historical. We are having presenters from the community at each of the stops.
    ?For example at Rosemary Beach when they stop for breakfast that morning Randy Harelson is on the list to do a little native plant talk for the SHAC members so they are familiar with the native planting along the coastal roads.?
    The tour starts at 8:45 a.m. and lasts until 5 p.m. SHAC members will see beaches, dune lakes, commercial properties and architectural sites.
    ?One big positive for us is that our road runs alongside the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and that is very unique to the scenic highway system,? Bannerman said.
    A scenic highway designation will allow for grant money to help safe guard the road for the future, according to Bannerman.
    ?A scenic highway designation will give us that opportunity to get federal funding for signage and waste removal and lighting,? Bannerman said.
    Commissioner Cindy Meadows agreed with Bannerman.
    ?There are all kinds of things you can use that money for-signage, bike paths, educational centers, kiosks-and there are a number of things you can use that money on,? Meadows said. ?Then of course the added plus that we can advertise that we are a Florida scenic highway.?
    DeFuniak Street, Hotz Avenue, County Roads 395, 283 and 83 will all be included in the scenic highway corridor.
    According to the Florida Department of Transportation?s Web site, a highway has to go through three phases before it is granted scenic status. The first is the eligibility phase, CAG develops supporting documentation and FDOT decides on eligibility.
    The designation phase comes next. CAG develops a Corridor Management Plan and FDOT decides whether to grant designation.
    Implementation is the final phase when the Corridor Management Plan is implemented and the highway gets scenic status.
    After the SHAC tour, it will take about a week to process its findings and FDOT will grant or deny scenic designation. If granted approval, it will take about another year to fully become a scenic highway. It usually takes four to five years to get scenic status and 30A is in the eligibility phase, Bannerman said.
    The purpose of the Florida Scenic Highways program is to ?preserve, enhance and maintain significant Florida resources,? according to FDOT?s Web site said.
     
  2. SoWalSally

    SoWalSally Beach Fanatic

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    County Road 30A is one step closer to becoming an official Florida Scenic Highway.
    On Oct. 27, the Corridor Advocacy Group sponsored a tour of the 19 mile stretch of road for officials from the Scenic Highway Advisory Committee.
    CR 30A has moved into the next phase of becoming a scenic highway.
    ?We?ve got the scenic designation and now we will present a Corridor Management Plan to SHAC. After that we will begin implementing the scenic highway plan,? CAG Coordinator Claire Bannerman said. ?The SHAC group was in amazement not just over the gulf, but also the (dune) lakes and hiking trails through the state parks and the sense of camaraderie with all the communities.?
    According to the Florida Department of Transportation?s Web site, a highway has to go through three phases before it is granted scenic status. The first is the eligibility phase, CAG develops supporting documentation and FDOT decides on eligibility.
    The designation phase comes next. CAG develops a Corridor Management Plan and FDOT decides whether to grant designation.
    Implementation is the final phase when the Corridor Management Plan is implemented and the highway gets scenic status.
    CAG will put together a corridor management plan and present it to SHAC. If accepted, CR 30A will officially reach scenic status. Bannerman added her group is about six months to a year away from implementing the scenic designation.
    The tour showcased the intrinsic resources such as historical, archeological, recreational, natural and scenic that CR 30A has to offer.
    At the start of the tour in Rosemary Beach Randy Harelson discussed the native vegetation and the white sand beaches for SHAC.
    ?The sand is nearly 99 percent quartz,? Harelson said. ?It came down thousands of years ago from the Appalachian Mountains as limestone and was ground up (into sand).?
    Starting in Rosemary Beach the tour made stops at dune lakes, state parks, Grayton Beach, Seaside, WalterColor and Eden State Park just to name a few.
    At each stop a presenter from the community was there to explain the area?s significance.
    ?I?ve been here since 1972 and I want to make sure we showed off all the little communities with the state parks throughout the area,? Bannerman said.
    Becoming a scenic highway will allow for a uniform management of CR 30A.
    ?A scenic highway designation will give us that opportunity to get federal funding for signage and waste removal and lighting,? Bannerman said.
    According to the FDOT Web site, the designation is designed to showcase and protect natural resources, improve quality of life, promote tourism and economic development and encourage community partnering. Florida currently has 12 scenic highways, the closest one to South Walton being the Pensacola Scenic Bluff Highway, an 11 mile corridor running along U.S. Highway 90 in Escambia County and the city of Pensacola.
     
  3. Rita

    Rita margarita brocolia

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    Thank you for all the updates this morn!
     
  4. DBOldford

    DBOldford Beach Fanatic

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    This is such exciting news! I hope that part of the scenic highway plan will include a good signage and lighting plan. In fact, the big light at the corner of DeFuniak Street and Hotz Avenue in Grayton is badly in need of a shield in order to protect turtles. Last year, turtles were drawn to that light during nesting season and smashed on the road. I called the Chelco guy, who was going to look into it, but no change to date. Maybe I will call again to see if something can be done before we have more carnage this year. Anyone else willing to weigh in with Chelco on this? We can use some numbers.
     
  5. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    Contact Sharon Maxwell swturtlewh@aol.com

    South Walton Sea Turtle Watch
    The South Walton Turtle Watch is a group of volunteers whose purpose is to locate endangered and threatened sea turtle nests and to protect them along the beaches of NW Florida during the crucial nesting and hatching season.
    P. O. Box 4818-Seaside Branch
    Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
    www.seaturtlewatch.com
     
  6. kathydwells

    kathydwells Darlene is my middle name, not my nickname

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    Thank you Kurt for posting this. Their site had been down for awhile and I alway's loved to go and check on the nests and hatchlings. I met some of these fine folks on my last trip down and they are awesome.
     
  7. Landlocked

    Landlocked Beach Fanatic

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    I met some folks from UF (while I was looking for my fishing cart) on our trip that were poking around in the dunes looking for turtles. Is that the ones?
     
  8. kathydwells

    kathydwells Darlene is my middle name, not my nickname

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    The folks that I met were from the South Walton Turtle watch group. We had a momma that had laid eggs right by the walk-over where we were staying. She laid them the night before we left, and they were there counting and marking the nest. I talked to them for a little while. I alway's wondered what happened to that nest, because the ole' hurricane came the very next week!
     
  9. Dave Rauschkolb

    Dave Rauschkolb Beach Fanatic

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    When we started the Scenic 30 A Business Association in the late 80's. The designation of the C-30A as a Scenic road was a dream of ours.

    50 or so concerned citizens met at Criolla's and formed the association to work on preserving the character of C-30A and began a dialog with the County Commissioners regarding limiting building heights, sign ordinances, adding bike paths and so on. In those days there were even fewer voting residents in South Walton and we felt strongly a business association would get the Commissioners attention and we did very effectively. We felt if we did not do something then undesirable development would swallow us just like in Destin and Panama City. We felt passionately the character of our beach road held tremendous value and had to be preserved and cherished. We felt the development that would come should be compatible and enhance our community. In the long run most developers caught on and property values soared.

    Back then we did not have the financial resources to accomplish some of our goals but we did accomplish a lot. We fought against a putt-putt golf course close to where Angelina's is today and won; what would have been next, A bungee jump with go carts?

    One of the projects I worked on was designing and placing all the signs at each small community on 30A giving pride to each as a unique part of C-30A. In those days only Seaside had a sign and there was a lot of jealousy of this upstart, instantly successful town. The TDC generously paid for the signs and continues to maintain them.

    I felt strongly the area and our road needed an identity separating it from the surrounding areas. Each small community needed to be identified as unique and special. The signs also set an example and sent a message that small signs can be very effective; we had no sign ordinance then. When we were deciding what to call the road I pushed for calling it Scenic 30-A. I figured that even though the road was not officially designated as such we should just call it like we saw it; a truly scenic road. Why not make it so and hope it would eventually happen?

    Well it looks like it is really going to happen and I am so proud of the efforts of the The Scenic 30A Corridor Advocacy Group, a lot of dedicated, determined, special people who are working to make this designation a reality.

    Our little organization no longer exists but I remember all too well how the energy and determination of a few can move mountains. We had a few important goals, dreams really and organisations like the The Scenic 30A Corridor Advocacy Group, The South Walton Community Council and The Beach to Bay Alliance have taken the torch and accomplished and continue to accomplish almost all we set out to do. The Peach Creek Alliance literally did move mountains when it stopped an incompatible concrete plant.

    The newly formed Historic Point Washington Association wishes to someday have Point Washington designated as a historic place much in the same way we hoped we could one day call Scenic 30-A for what it really is.

    It's funny we have to get a designation sometimes to prove what we already know is true. The important thing to remember is official designations give us the power to preserve, protect and defend what we hold dear and I can think of no more noble a cause for a community. The words on the Walton County Seal send a similar message: Pride, Preservation and Conservation. It is our duty as citizens to hold our County Commissioners to those words, otherwise those words are a hollow pledge.

    The commissioners are hard working and dedicated people who also care deeply about this county. All you need to do is go to one meeting and see what it takes to do their job; it is thankless work. We and they must always remember though, the commissioners work for us and it is our duty to vote out those who are consistently blind and deaf to their Constituents.

    I have seen it time and again how this community dreams and moves mountains. We have much to be proud of and much to do. Let us Preserve, Protect and Defend what we hold dear and never waver. Not once, not ever. This place is far to special to do anything else.



    Be on the Look out for information on joining the effort to officially designate Historic Point Washington for what it is, Historic

    Dave Rauschkolb
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2005
  10. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    Update: Scenic 30A Designation Process - Eligibility Phase

    "The process of designating a Florida Scenic Highway relies on the volunteer efforts of local citizens, community leaders, businesses and non-profit organizations working closely with land management agencies, local governments, consultants and the Florida Department of Transportation.

    Last October, the Walton County Corridor Advocacy Group (CAG), Commissioner Cindy Meadows, District 5, with Claire Bannerman, CAG Chair, accompanied FDOT staff and members of the Scenic Highway Advisory Committee (SHAC) on a tour of the Scenic 30-A Corridor to further assess the eligibility of the corridor in terms of the scenic, natural, recreational, archeological, cultural and historic resources that would be accessible to visitors. In each case, SHAC approval is critical for advancing toward formal designation.

    Walton County's Scenic 30-A corridor gained exciting superlatives from the group: "awesome" , " outstanding," "a well-planned tour"; a tribute to all the participants and supporters of this effort. The Scenic 30-A corridor has significant resources for scenic highway designation. Completion of the process to attain this designation will be extremely beneficial to the future growth and maintenance of the corridor as a unique cluster of roadways.

    The Corridor Advocacy Group team continues to meet and is now officially in the "Eligibility Phase" having gone through eligibility training with Florida Department of Transportation personnel.

    Citizens are asked to join this effort. All CAG meetings are advertised and open to the public. Contact Claire Bannerman, CAG Chair at 622-3059."

    Thanks for your interest in Walton County!

    Ken Little
    Public Information Officer
    312 College Avenue, Unit B
    DeFuniak Springs, FL 32435
    tel: (850)892-8530 fax: (850)892-8539
    litken@co.walton.fl.us
    www.co.walton.fl.us
     
  11. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    The Corridor Advocacy Group will meet on Thursday, March 16, at
    5:30 pm in the Tourist Development Council office. The Tourist
    Development Council is located at the intersection of US 331 and
    US 98. This is an open meeting and citizens are asked to
    participate in this eligibility process. Extensive data and
    documentation are required by the Department of Transportation to
    complete the formal Eligibility Application. Topics to be addressed
    are: existing land use, signage, future land use, transportation
    planning, roadway improvements, tourism and user facilities, a
    corridor vision, and more.
    Oxo Slayer, Kimley-Horn & Associates consultant, will guide the
    "visioning process" of the Scenic 30-A corridor to fulfill the
    requirements outlined in the Florida Scenic Highways Program
    Manual.
    Interested citizens are encouraged to attend this open meeting and
    participate in the discussion. Contact for further information is
    Claire Bannerman, Corridor Advocacy Group Chair, (850) 622-3059.
     

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