Tuesday, 16 January 2018 09:16 pm
Please clink on link Below to generate a pre written letter to the County Commissioners,
Ox Bottom Manor Community Association, Inc.
Dear County Commissioners,
Please consider this a formal request to include this communication, and all of the foregoing and following, into the official record.
This communication sets forth formal opposition to the proposed Brookside Village Residential Subdivision, Project ID# LSP150035 (the "Project"). I reside in the adjacent Ox Bottom Manor subdivision, at Ox Bottom Manor Community, Tallahassee, 32312, and as such face significant adverse impacts should the Project, as currently proposed, be approved. Indeed the current proposal violates both the letter and the spirit of the Residential Preservation zoning ordinance (Sec. 10-6.617), places a Third or Fourth Magnitude Spring at risk of contamination and pollution of the underlying aquifer, fails to guarantee harmful runoff will not enter Moore Pond, and places additional, unwarranted burdens on both area traffic and schools.
Ox Bottom Manor has 668 home sites, Summerbrooke has 657 home sites, Moore Pond has 61 home sites, and Rosehill has 94 home sites; these nearly 1500 home sites have close to or in excess of 1 acre lots!
Paragraph 1 of the December 2 Development Services Findings states: "Consistency with surrounding residential type and density shall be a major determinant in granting development approval." One statement in Susan Poplin's Planning Department memorandum of December 1 declares this project to be consistent, without further elucidation. While this may be based on the official measure called "Gross Density", a development of 1350 square foot residential units on 1/8- 1/4 acre lots in the middle of Ox Bottom Manor, Moore Pond, and Rosehill subdivisions is clearly not consistent in type nor density.
The Project proposes to surround an existing Spring with homes at a density of 6 units per acre. As you know, the Project is adjacent to the Moore Pond (1 unit per 3+ acres) and Ox Bottom (1-2 units per acre) communities. Therefore, any proposed density in excess of that on the adjacent properties is expressly prohibited.
Ordinance Section 10-6.617. - Residential Preservation, provides, in pertinent part, that the "primary function is to protect existing stable and viable residential areas from incompatible land uses and density intrusions." (Emphasis added). To that end, when new residential development is proposed for an area not located within a recorded or unrecorded subdivision, "densities shall be permitted in the range of zero to six dwelling units per acre...." This of course does not create an entitlement to the maximum, but rather establishes the range for consideration consistent with the about quoted "primary function" of the ordinance. Further, Ordinance subsection (a)(5) places a cap on the discretion to be applied within the above described range of zero to six units. That subsection provides, in pertinent part, that "[p]arcels proposed for residential which are . . . not in a recorded or unrecorded subdivision shall develop consistent with the type of residential development pattern located adjacent to the vacant parcel." (Emphasis added). Florida courts have interpreted the word "shall" as contained in statutes, rules and ordinances as mandatory language compelling the stated result and granting no discretion whatsoever for deviation.
Therefore, even in the absence of the substantial environmental concerns associated with the Project, which require an even more restrictive approach, the RP zoning ordinance alone mandates rejection of the Project's proposed density. The Residential Preservation zoning code clearly states in part "The primary function is to protect existing stable and viable residential areas from incompatible land uses and density intrusions." In addition, "Compatibility with surrounding residential type and density shall be a Major Factor in the authorization of development approval and in the determination of the permissible density".
Many of our concerns are shared by all residents living on or near Ox Bottom Road, as development continues to intensify. Traffic and School impacts weigh in favor of denial of the Project. As proposed currently, the Project will add hundreds of daily automobile trips to the western portion of Ox Bottom Road . Its location just east of entrances to the Rosehill and Ox Bottom Manor neighborhoods will add significant traffic to an already busy area, particularly as the Ox Bottom Manor Road entrance is used for travel through our neighborhood to and from Hawks Rise Elementary School.
Additionally, the addition of some 60+ new homes within the school district further burdens limited resources, and potentially risks the dislocation of some current students.
Moore Pond residents have described increasing problems with the pond's water quality and flooding in their neighborhood - and like them, we share concern about the adverse effects of this proposal on the natural springs and aquifer underlying the proposed development. Like other area residents, we are very concerned about direct harm to our property caused by proposed changes to drainage patterns, as well as potential flooding of nearby areas and roadways.
In addition, Ox Bottom Manor homeowners whose property is adjacent to or near the proposed development have particular concerns related to the size and nature of the buffer area to be provided, and its continued maintenance. Although the site plan includes a 25-foot buffer in some areas, a road/driveway extending along the northern boundary of the property is planned within approximately 10 feet of several existing backyards.
Consistent with the Leon County Development Code, we Ox Bottom Manor homeowners, have a right to protect and conserve the value of our land and investment, and to minimize the conflict of uses of land and buildings. Ox Bottom Manor property owners purchased their property to maintain a certain lifestyle, and financial investment. Approval of the subject development, would negatively encroach on the interests and property values of Ox Bottom Manor owners.
Finally, "The Development Review Committee (DRC) shall provide the final decision for Type "B" site and development plan applications. The proposed development will not be decided by the Leon County Commission! A development decision affecting three premier neighborhoods in north Leon County with over 1,000 homes and more than 4,000 residents surely is worthy of County Commission oversight and involvement, if not direct decision making.
In sum, this scenario is not compatible with Ox Bottom Manor, Moore Pond or Rosehill.
I strongly oppose ANY approval of the subject development, and/or modifications to said development now and in the future. The size and number of any home sites on the site plan should be no denser than the surrounding communities.
Given the character of Moore Pond, Rosehill, and Ox Bottom Manor neighborhoods, all adversely impacted by the proposed development, the best solution is to not allow Brookside development. The 35 acres in question would make an attractive recreational respite for the 4,000 plus voters in the surrounding areas should the County decide to purchase the property.
The only other option is a larger size for dwelling units and fewer lots would enhance the proposed development as well as maintain the integrity of the existing communities. I strongly urge the review board to consider these adjustments when making your final decision.
Leon County Planning Commission Staff should enforce the code as it is written to protect the existing developments from density intrusions, specifically as the code states and requires them to do!
Based upon the proposed 1/8 acre lots within Brookside Village Residential Subdivision, the Ox Bottom Manor Community Association consisting of over 668 voting homeowners OPPOSES the proposed development.