“Volusia County to conserve portion of Ormond Scenic Loop – 71,000 signatures were collected in hopes to save land from development”

“Volusia County to conserve portion of Ormond Scenic Loop – 71,000 signatures were collected in hopes to save land from development”

Photo: Molly Reed, WKMG News 6 Orlando
“Residents who had been fighting to stop planned development along a beloved scenic route in Volusia County have won their battle.

The county council on Tuesday voted to buy 36 acres of historic land on the Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail.

‘The public literally rose up and supported this project,’ Founder of Dream Green Volusia Suzanne Scheiber said.

Scheiber’s organization handed out over 600 yard-signs and collected 71,000 signatures in hopes to save the land from development.

‘If you drive the loop today you can see all of the developments, you can see all the traffic and you can see the loss of wildlife habitat,’ she said.

Scheiber was able to get the developer of the plantation oaks subdivision to sell 36 acres to the county for $988,000. The organization raised money to help with that cost, too.

‘We raised collectively with North Florida Land Trust $26,250,’ she said.

On Tuesday, the council voted to do that, after the county ECHO committee approved the land as historic with portions of Old King’s Road running through it.

‘Old Kings Road was built by the British in the 1700s and it was called an engineering treasure and one of the most important roadways in the growth of Florida,’ Dona Butler with the county’s community services said…”

— Molly Reed, WKMG News 6 Orlando
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Land Preservation: “Pinellas County, City Of Dunedin In Lockstep On Douglas Hackworth Property”

Land Preservation: “Pinellas County, City Of Dunedin In Lockstep On Douglas Hackworth Property”

Photo: Sierra Club
“…Pinellas County Government and City of Dunedin officials have announced new developments in the effort to acquire land in North County for environmental preservation and passive recreation.

‘We’re very pleased with the public and private funding commitments we’ve been able to garner thus far for the property, and look forward to working with the estate to preserve the property for future generations,’ said Pinellas County Administrator Barry A. Burton.

‘Our community believes acquisition of this property is an intergenerational imperative,’ said Dunedin City Manager Jennifer K. Bramley. ‘The City of Dunedin looks forward to working with our partners, both public and private, to place a strong offer before the estate.’

County and City officials also announced they will submit a joint application next week to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for a Florida Communities Trust state grant. They hope that the grant, coupled with an ongoing community fundraising effort, would contribute toward the final acquisition and environmental restoration costs for the Douglas-Hackworth property…”

— Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Patch.com
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Greenspace: “Clearwater voters reject bid to redevelop Landings Golf Course”

Greenspace: “Clearwater voters reject bid to redevelop Landings Golf Course”

Photo: Google Earth, Tampa Bay Newspapers
“Landings referendum

Clearwater voters Nov. 3 soundly rejected a bid to transform the Landings Golf Course into a light industrial complex.

Just over 61% of voters (35,464) voted no on a referendum question on whether the city could lease approximately 58 acres of city-owned property across the street from the Clearwater Airpark to Harrod Properties.

The owners of the course currently lease the property from the city for $1,000 a month. City code states that voters must approve the sale of any city-owned property identified as recreation/open space on the comprehensive land use plan…

City economic development officials say redeveloping the underused golf course into an industrial park would’ve brought major financial benefits, including generating $9.735 million for the city during its first 10 years and also creating 3,281 jobs with an average salary of about $47,000.

Council member Kathleen Beckman and many neighbors of the project led the charge against it, claiming it wasn’t compatible with the area and expressed concerns about traffic and the environmental impact of eliminating the green space…

‘Once these 77 acres are gone and they’re not green anymore, they’re gone,’ Beckman said in June.”

— Chris George, Tampa Bay Newspapers
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“A New Vision for the Florida Greenways and Trails System (FGTS)” 2019-2023 Plan and Maps Update

“A New Vision for the Florida Greenways and Trails System (FGTS)” 2019-2023 Plan and Maps Update

Photo: Florida DEP
“The FGTS Plan establishes the vision for implementing a connected statewide system of greenways and trails for recreation, conservation, alternative transportation, healthy lifestyles, a vibrant economy and a high quality of life. The original FGTS Plan was completed in 1998 and adopted by the Florida Legislature in 1999, laying the groundwork for many programs, projects and initiatives that exist today. The updated FGTS Plan and maps guides implementation of the connected statewide trail system from 2019 through 2023.

The Office of Greenways and Trails (OGT) has also updated its statewide opportunity and priority trail maps. Many trails are eligible for certain types of funding if they are on one or both maps.

As part of the update, OGT held 14 public workshops throughout the state to receive input from trail users, local planners and the public. OGT also received hundreds of e-mails and letters and input from the Florida Greenways and Trails Council. The input is helping to shape the direction of trails for years to come! The final versions of the Plan and maps are posted below…”

— Florida DEP
Download Plan (.pdf)
Visit DEP website for more about Florida Greenways and Trails programs

Citizens for a Scenic Florida