To Concerned Citizens of Historic Point Washington

Discussion in 'Real Estate' started by Dave Rauschkolb, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. Magic Hour

    Magic Hour Beach Comber

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    Thanks for all you are doing to combat this unsightly development.

    In my opinion, these developers should be held to the same height standards that the developers at Edens Landing have adopted.

    My letters when out today.

    There is no substitute for a vocal and united group representing Pt. Washington.
     
  2. Quirk

    Quirk Beach Crab

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    The way they get around the 100 year flood plain is to get out of the floodplain, usually by filling it to raise the elevation of the ground. Often this results in flooding to surrounding properties.
     
  3. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    Which is also illegal and they will be liable.
     
  4. DBOldford

    DBOldford Beach Fanatic

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    This is one of the most unimaginative standard subdivision maps that I've ever seen. This is what developers do when they are merely trying to plug in the maximum number of units. In fact, it looks more like a mobile home park than a stick development. I would be willing to bet that the developer has a manufactured housing product in mind with this design. The setbacks are so minimal as to allow no effective landscape buffer from the ramrod straight road. Even a two-story height will translate into zero privacy for backyards.

    The County and Point Washington deserve so much better than this. This development bears no semblance to the character of Pt. Washington whatsoever. Has anyone seen elevations for these units? Be sure to ask whether they are manufactured units. Someone should ask why units can't be clustered in order to create more interest and larger areas for landscaping. Really, this looks like the makings of a slum, although the houses will probably market for somewhere around $500K, I would expect. Finally, what has the developer been required to do in terms of affordable units as a mix with this? This is exactly the kind of development where some inclusionary affordable units should be a requirement, especially if the developer is requesting a density bonus. Just a few thoughts from a planner.
     
  5. RiverOtter

    RiverOtter got any pics?

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    That should get their attention :funn:
     
  6. DBOldford

    DBOldford Beach Fanatic

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    P.S. My husband took a look at this site plan and reminded me that in the Colorado ski country, we used to call it "Stack-a-Shack." You would think the builder would introduce a little bit of diversity by having some different elevations and unit types and sizes, that is, some one-story units and some variety in how they are configured on the lots. All the lots are even identical. Some one-story units would also provide for some more affordable and/or moderately-priced housing stock mixed in with the market rate homes.

    Please feel free to use the "Stack-a-Shack" vernacular in your testimony before the County Commission. Good luck, everyone.
     
  7. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    So it sounds like you are familiar with Tim Henderson's (Hendco) building style. He does change the color from house to house, but nothing more. I like your idea of one-story units, but not if it is Tim's usual 1400 sf home. I have seen enough of them. Perhaps if I remember, tomorrow, I will takeand post a picture of a street of homes which he built.
     
  8. Rita

    Rita margarita brocolia

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    Color changes according to what paint's on sale at the time! ? :roll:

    Are the chances of this getting approval good? It would seem there would be such good arguments against it as it is presented now. Or is this one of those deals where the developer plans from the start to have to make compromises so he gives himself LOTS of wiggle room? (so he can better get what he wants in the end) :bang:
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2005
  9. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    I don't know what the chances are that it will get approval. It would not surprise me if it was approved. It could depend upon the relationship between Tim and the County Commissioners. People cannot just show up to the meeting and say that Tim's projects are unsightly, and hope that it does not get approved. The Commissioner are supposed to look at evidence. Why is this project non-conforming? What is the history of Pt Washington? How might this project, if approved, hurt the other land owners in the area? etc.

    Today, most developers do not leave much wiggle room. ie- they typically don't ask for more than they want, because their projects will more easily be rejected. I think it is more typical to initially ask for less until it is approved, then come back and ask for a little more.
     
  10. DBOldford

    DBOldford Beach Fanatic

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    Yes, it's easier to swallow following a thousand bites than in one gulp. But if the planning parameters, such as overall density and height limitations are set at the beginning, it is much more difficult to make substantive changes later. On the face of it, it would seem there is no overriding benefit or argument as to why this developer should get exceptions to existing ordinances and other County plans. I do not see any redeeming qualities in this design. I see some buidling envelopes encroaching into wetlands areas.

    In fact, a closer look makes me wonder if this will pass muster with the fire protection provider. They have provided this turnaround for the engine, but if the houses are two-story (or taller, as you indicate he requests), then it will be very difficult to fight a fire and prevent it from spreading from one house to the next. The sideyard setbacks are too close and the height of walls too great. The "Stack-a-Shack" concept that I referred to had a fire in a ski community just outside Aspen and the fire department could not effectively fight the fire because of the construction and proximity of sidewalls within the development. The entire project was lost to fire.

    The folks on the bus will want to ask the fire department about their review of this project and point out that there may be no "clear access" around the buildings due to the minimal sideyards and > height of structures. In cases like this, a ladder truck would be required. Does the closest response fire station have a ladder truck? Many don't. The cost for these trucks is around $875K, which doesn't include requirements for additional trained personnel at the station to operate the trucks (two drivers instead of one, etc.).

    If I was a neighbor commenting on this project, I would ask for more variation in the building styles, sizes and elevations. I would ask for a landscaping concept that justifies the clean cutting of the forest there. I would carefully read all the in-house comments that other departments make (Fish & Game, Building Dept., Fire Department, Public Works, etc.) and make sure that their requirements are clearly conditions of approval that must be met before a building permit can be issued. And most importantly, I would lobby the County staff and officials to the effect that the project does not include any redeeming or overriding benefits that justify a deviation from the County's existing plans and ordinances and design review precedents. Good luck.
     
  11. Rita

    Rita margarita brocolia

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    Donna,

    YOU ARE GOOD at what you do! Keep the ideas coming. Are "the people on the bus" accessing this board? Great food for thought here!
     
  12. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    FYI - the fire/rescue station at WaterColor has a ladder truck and they would most likely be the respondents to any fire in the Pt Washington area.
     
  13. Dave Rauschkolb

    Dave Rauschkolb Beach Fanatic

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    No bus to meeting

    GREAT points Donna; you are obviously well versed in this I hope you can come to the meeting and speak.

    It seems most everyone wants to drive themselves to this meeting as I have had only two who expressed interest in the bus. I have decided to not persue the bus idea however it seems a lot of folks will be at the meeting. Please help pass the word!!!!! Thanks to all. Dave Rauschkolb
     
  14. Dave Rauschkolb

    Dave Rauschkolb Beach Fanatic

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    IF you care deeply about the future of Historic Point Washington please contact new sowal member Randy Harleson at rharelson@earthlink.net to be on this list for the meeting

    Historic Point Washington Association

    The Historic Point Washington Association is a group of townsfolk,
    residents, and friends who share an interest in discovering and
    preserving the unique heritage of Point Washington, Florida, one of the
    oldest settlements in Walton County (circa1880). The Association aims
    to gather, preserve, and share accurate historical information about
    the community and to help preserve its character, scale, architecture,
    and open spaces.

    The Historic Point Washington Association enjoys and studies the
    appealing aesthetic and environmental qualities of today?s community
    with an eye toward positively affecting its continued development in
    the 21st Century.

    Founding Members:


    Ed Berry
    Rachel Berry
    Colleen Foley
    James Foley
    Richard Gibbs
    David Higgs
    Peter Horn
    Susan Horn
    Randy Horton
    Kurt Lischka
    Grace Marse
    Hugh Marse
    Jeff Nablo
    Brett Nunn
    Ty Nunn
    Dave Rauschkolb
    Cheryl Troxel
     
  15. Dave Rauschkolb

    Dave Rauschkolb Beach Fanatic

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    I canceled the bus trip to the meeting due to lack of interest; 4 may ride with me if you wish; contact me at dave@budandalleys.com

    Dave Rauschkolb
     
  16. For The Health Of It

    For The Health Of It Beach Fanatic

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    Dear CountyCommissioners November 7, 2005

    This letter is written in regard to Oaks at Eden, a proposed development located in Historic Point Washington. This development is scheduled to be addressed at tomorrows BCC meeting in DeFuniak Springs.

    As most of you know, my wife?s family has Point Washington ties dating back to the late 1800?s. Point Washington is our home and has tremendous meaning to us. With that said, we understand development is coming to Point Washington. We do not object to projects that keep with the historical feel of the area. In fact we are part of it with land in Eden?s Landing a new development that takes into account the landscape and feel of the area.

    However, this new project in it?s current proposal is simply not compatible with the community. The density issue, height of the structures and potential destruction of the amazing trees that the project is named after are just a few of our concerns. Twenty Nine (29) forty (40) foot buildings are simply not Point Washington. I could go on and on as to the many other concerns, such as storm water run off, traffic impacts, adverse impacts on property values and more.

    Please consider these comments, review the site plan and vote to deny this project in it?s current state. Historic Point Washington is not the place for this high impact project. Walton County especially South Walton is growing so fast. Lets all take a breath, slow down and really study the impacts that developments such as this will have on our area.

    Once again, thank you for your time, your assistance in preserving the feel and Historic nature of our community is appreciated.

    Sincerely


    Ed Berry
    Rachel Morgan
    Point Washington
     
  17. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    See report on local channel 13 tonight at 6.
     
  18. 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
     
  19. Miss Kitty

    Miss Kitty Meow

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    Thank you Dave and friends. You have done much to save the place so many of us love. It makes me sing with joy to have your group's dream come true! If Hwy. 98 can become "scenic"....30-A is beautific!!! (is that a word?) Good luck with your stand on Pt. Washington, may cooler heads prevail!
     
  20. beachmouse

    beachmouse Beach Fanatic

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    Web version of the tv report:

    http://www.wmbb.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=WMBB%2FMGArticle%2FMBB_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1128768052558&path=!news!archives

    Residents Say Historic Community Threatened


    By Christopher Mitchell (cmitchell@wmbb.com)
    News 13 On Your Side
    Wednesday, November 9, 2005

    Point Washington, FL - Residents living in the historic community of Point Washington in Walton County say they're not against development, but they're fighting one developer from what they call "threatening their neighborhood." Point Washington is in south Walton County just north of Highway 98 on County Road 395.

    Point Washington was settled in the late 1800's. Residents have preserved the historic cemetary, church, post office, school and even an old mansion that's become Eden Gardens State Park. Randy Harelson lives right next to that state park. "I moved here 7 years ago because of its small one-story houses, its open space and its beautiful trees," he says. But, he's worried that a developer, the Hendco Company located in Destin, is threatening the historical integrity of his community with plans to build several three and four story homes in one small area down the street. "I have an acre of land here with a house and a barn, and on theirs, they will have more than six houses on this much property, and that's much too dense," he says.

    Many residents in Point Washington say that they're not against developers developing on the land. They're just against how it's being developed. James Foley is a 30-year resident of Point Washington and local historian. He says he feels other developers are doing things right. "The one development that is closest to this," he says, standing near Hendco's proposed development site, "actually sat down with all the neighbors. They chose the local bricks that we used in the (old) school." But, he says Hendco isn't doing that. "These guys show up with a cookie-cutter, anywhere USA maximum density (plan), chopping down way too many trees and basically creating an eyesore in the middle of a very important historic resource."

    Harelson agrees with Foley. "We want developers to come in and develop on half-acre lots with one or two story houses like we have always done so that it's in helping with our historic community," Harelson says. And, residents hope Hendco will change its plans and become one of them within the next two weeks. That's when county commissioners will decide whether or not to allow Hendco to proceed with development plans. Until then, county leaders asked the developer and residents to sit down and discuss a possible resolution to the problem.
     

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