Alachua’s Scenic Preservation: “Micanopy’s Tuscawilla Road gets scenic label”

Alachua’s Scenic Preservation: “Micanopy’s Tuscawilla Road gets scenic label”

Photo: Alachua County
” County commissioners voted to designate it as a scenic road, allowing it additional protections and regulations.

Alachua County got its first scenic road designation since 2004 — the county’s sixth overall — Tuesday, with Micanopy’s Tuscawilla Road.

County commissioners voted unanimously to give the designation to the two-lane road between Cholokka Boulevard in the Micanopy town limits and U.S. Highway 441, which brings the road additional protection.

Commissioners also voted on a different motion that would have granted an exception for a planned commercial property, a Dollar General, that would allow trucks weighing more than 25 tons to use the roadway for access. That motion failed 3-2, with commissioners Chuck Chestnut and Mary Alford in favor of the exception.

‘I support the scenic highway, but now I’m not sure of what rights we have to do this,’ Chestnut said of limiting access to the planned business. “So I’m just going to leave my comments at that. I’m not in favor of any other development … but I do feel different about this one because they went through the process and now we’re making it a scenic highway. I just feel fishy about it…’

Tusawilla Road meets several of the criteria for designation, as outlined by the county, including scenic, archaeological and historical significance. Its located about 5 miles south of Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, and the location of the Village of Cuscowilla and William Bartram’s visit in 1774.

A Native American preserve is located on the road within town limits and is a protected area, purchased by the Town of Micanopy with state funding. Other research on the Battle of Micanopy documents significant sites on private land in the vicinity, an attraction for tourists.

Whooping cranes, sandhill cranes and gopher tortoises are among some of the wildlife that inhabit the area.

The road has been designated as one segment of a state scenic highway since June 2001.

The designation protects the area along the corridor within 100 feet of the right of way, and any new commercial activity is prohibited within the protected area.

Most outdoor advertising signs and overhead utilities are also prohibited…

There are five other county roads that carry the scenic road designation: Millhopper Road, Fort Clarke Church Road, Crown Road, Old Bellamy Road and Dusty Trail.”

— Emily Mavrakis, The Gainesville Sun

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UPDATE: “Official groundbreaking celebrated for Inlet Beach Underpass”

UPDATE: “Official groundbreaking celebrated for Inlet Beach Underpass”

Photo: Walton County Public Information

“Ground was officially broken on March 26 for a project that had been years in preparation, the Inlet Beach Underpass.

Approximately 100 people attended the event hosted by the Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) to mark the start of construction on this $5.6 million state Department of Transportation (DOT) project.

The lighted pedestrian underpass is to go under U.S. 98 on the east side of that highway’s eastern intersection with CR-30A in Inlet Beach, providing for non-interrupted flow of pedestrian access across U.S. 98. Objectives of the project include increasing safety at this busy intersection and mobility of pedestrian and vehicular traffic…

The design will allow entry of pedestrians only, with cyclists able to walk their bikes through the underpass.

Partnering with DOT to make the underpass a reality have been the BCC, the Walton County Tourist Development Council, and Scenic Walton, a nonprofit organization composed of business owners and residents.

Plans are for Scenic Walton to partner with Walton County’s Cultural Arts Association in order for art work to be provided to adorn the underpass when completed…”

— Dotty Nist, Defuniak Herald

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“Friends of A1A launch campaign to fight litter: ‘Pack It In, Pack It Out’ “

“Friends of A1A launch campaign to fight litter: ‘Pack It In, Pack It Out’ “

“The Friends of A1A Scenic & Historic Coastal Byway announced the program ‘Be a Byway Sea Star – Pack It In, Pack It Out’ launching on June 1.

The first pilot program location will be at the River to Sea Preserve along SR A1A, where trash receptacles will be removed from public spaces and visitors will be encouraged to leave no trace by taking their trash with them.

Based on the seven principles of the ‘Leave No Trace’ program used by agencies such as the U.S. National Park Service and municipalities across the nation, the Friends of A1A are aiming to reduce litter along the A1A Scenic Byway coastal corridor’s beaches and waterways…

The program is funded by the Friends of A1A Scenic & Historic Coastal Byway and in part through a competitive grant provided by the Community Foundation of Northeast Florida…

Visit for more details.”

— Danielle Anderson, Palm Coast Observer
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“A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway wins NSBF Byway Community Award”

“A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway wins NSBF Byway Community Award”

Photo: Spoonbills and Sprochets in Palm Coast Observer
“The A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway is a winner of the 2021 National Scenic Byway Foundation’s Byway Community Award for its eighth-annual Spoonbills and Sprockets Cycling Tour – Crazy 8’s event. In its 10th year (2021), the Spoonbills and Sprockets Cycling Tour won in the Event Category. It introduces the byway to new participants while challenging our returning riders to see the byway with fresh eyes through requiring eight selfies of their time along A1A to win prizes.

From photos at the historic Marineland Dolphin Adventure to the Castillo de San Marcos, the Bridge of Lions, the St. Augustine Alligator Farm, and south to the beaches and waterways along A1A in Flagler County, riders compared photos and laughed together at the Marineland attraction after-party.

Spoonbills and Sprockets Cycling Tour is an example of a byway best practice that has grown through the cycling community’s support and has developed a reputation for excellence. While keeping the fundamentals in place, adding a new element each year keeps it fresh and fun. From designing custom medals and signature jerseys each year, creating a theme, and wowing our riders with celebrity entertainers and unique activities, it never seems like the same event twice! And SAG/rest stops are at locations along the byway, which correspond to our A1A Scenic Byway Mobile Tour…”

— National Scenic Biway Guest, Palm Coast Observer
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Read more about the A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway

Read more about the National Scenic Byway Foundation

“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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“Walton commissioners could fast-track development along U.S. 331”

“Walton commissioners could fast-track development along U.S. 331”

Illustration: Walton County
“Walton County commissioners have taken a first look at a set of proposals that could reshape the economic potential of the U.S. Highway 331 corridor…

The proposed development standards — more specifically, the establishment of scenic overlay districts — would apply restrictive development standards extending to 400 feet from the affected sections of the two routes…

But as a result of recent action by the Walton County Planning Commission, new-vehicle sales lots — originally proposed as an excluded use — would be allowed along the scenic corridors, if that provision survives further review and action by the County Commission…

One of those sections extends from Choctawhatchee Bay north and west to the edges of the city of Freeport, and also incorporates acreage roughly bisected by SR 20.

A second section, bounded by the south side of Interstate 10, extends north and west from the southern edge of DeFuniak Springs.

…Adoption of the amendments would mean that neither the Planning Commission nor the County Commission would get to review any project that met existing county requirements for job creation or economic development…

Leigh Moore, executive director of Scenic Walton… cautioned commissioners to take a longer-term view of the proposed scenic corridor requirements.

‘I understand the concern about economic development, and I also encourage that to be a major focus,’ Moore said, ‘but please keep in mind … that if you don’t have some good aesthetic and (traffic) access management guidelines, then in the medium- and longer-term it ends up hurting economic development …’

Moore said Scenic Walton is not against growth along the U.S. 331 corridor.

‘But we want to do it in the right way, and that requires some local government control and regulation over what can and can’t happen in that corridor,’ she said…”

— Jim Thompson, Northwest Florida Daily News
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