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Walton County US 331 Corridor Design Standards

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by kurt, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    As the widening of US Highway 331 continues and is completed; the County will expect to see a large increase of commercial development along that corridor.

    Based on that, Walton County initiated working towards the development of the 331 Corridor Design Standards that would enhance property values, increase commercial development and advance job creation.

    Under no circumstance will any of the proposed standards implement eminent domain or allow for the taking of any property from any property owner along the 331 Corridor. That is not the intent, has not been the intent and will never be the intent of the WCBCC.

    The intent of the proposed standards is to create a uniformed commercial corridor in which prospective businesses desire to locate, expand and create additional employment opportunities in Walton County.

    It has been proven locally that with prudent design development standards, property values increase at a faster rate than without the standards in place. The proposed standards have not been designed to be punitive to commercial development or redevelopment.

    As part of the development of the proposed standards, the Walton County Department of Administration held three public workshops in which the public was invited to participate and give input and comment on the proposed guidelines and ideas for improvements or changes to the proposed standards.

    The meeting schedule conducted was as follows:

    1. Monday, August 26[SUP]th[/SUP], 2013 at 5:00pm in the DeFuniak Springs Boardroom
    2. Thursday, September 5[SUP]th[/SUP], 2013 at 5:00pm at the Freeport Community Center
    3. Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 2013 at 3:00 PM at the South Walton Annex Boardroom

    In addition to the three public hearings, there was a Planning Commission meeting held on Tuesday, April 29[SUP]th[/SUP], 2014 at 5:00pm at the South Walton Annex Boardroom that included discussion and public comment periods regarding the proposed corridor standards.

    Based on the current proposed 331 Corridor Standards, the following items exist:


    1. Does not implement eminent domain or the taking of any property from any property owner.
    [​IMG]

    2. Would only apply to new commercial developments and major commercial redevelopment projects and would not affect current businesses unless they enter the major redevelopment process.
    3. Would not apply to individual residential property owners.
    4. Would only apply to the first 300’ from the edge of the right-of-way of US 331 of commercial parcels located in unincorporated Walton County between I-10 and the north shore of the Choctawhatchee Bay.
    5. Only includes a limited amount of prohibited business types from being able to develop along the corridor, and provides conditional approval from the WCBCC for the development of a limited number of others.
    6. Uniformly implements prudent design standards that already exist in the County’s Land Development Code regarding building orientation, lighting, parking requirements, sidewalks, access, utilities, landscaping, display of merchandise, storage and signage.
    7. Does not change any land use or the entitlement of any land use types.

    The proposed 331 Corridor Standards are still at the level of the Planning Commission and will also be required to be placed before the Walton County BCC for approval. As the process moves forward, the public will continue to be able to participate and make comments.

    A copy of the proposed 331 Corridor Standards can be found on the Walton County website at http://www.co.walton.fl.us/Index.aspx?NID=1073.

    At your service,

    Louis E. Svehla
    Public Information Manager
    Walton Board of County Commissioners
     
  2. Beach Runner

    Beach Runner beats on hood

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    We were talking about the corridor as we passed by it. There can't be as many intersections as there were -- it would be dangerous and slow down the traffic to the point that there might as well be just two lanes. We figured that there would be access roads, but wondered if eminent domain would cause property owners to give up property. A lot of detail in this report -- hope they used examples from other road developments that are attractive rather than having to reinvent the wheel. I'm glad that people will be given a voice. The South Walton beaches are so beautiful. It would be wonderful if this main entry toward the beaches sets the tone for the beauty of the area.

    Next we need a moratorium on development along the 30A corridor because 30A just can't handle any more people. Then get strict about signs, as Hilton Head has always done.
     
  3. luca brazzi

    luca brazzi Banned

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    A better route to the beach from points north is Highway 79. You avoid DeFuniak and Freeport.
     
  4. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    I drive 331 on a regular basis for work and don't have problems. Even on a Friday evening. Of course you couldn't pay me enough to drive north on a Saturday morning or south on a Saturday afternoon.
     
  5. Beach Runner

    Beach Runner beats on hood

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    I hear ya about Saturdays. Hopefully there will be turn lanes so that people turning won't block the flow of traffic on the four lanes of the main road.
     
  6. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    I believe that's part of the expansion.
     
  7. Beach Runner

    Beach Runner beats on hood

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    Good. It's hard to tell because the new road is higher than the current one.
     

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