City Commission Grants Variance for Northeast Gateway Project

City Commission Grants Variance for Northeast Gateway Project

On December 18th, the City Commission approved a request to grant a variance to Chapter 5 of the Land and Development Code for construction of Phase I of the Northeast Gateway Project.

The request was approved by a vote of 3 in favor, with Commissioners Matlow and Porter opposed. The variance was requested by Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency to allow construction of a roadway in a floodplain and wetland area located near the Welaunee Toe-East Planned Unit Development.

Chapter 5 of the Land and Development Code authorizes linear infrastructure projects, such as water, road and sewer systems, by government entities to seek variances from the Code. As in this current situation, projects seeking a variance with more than 2 acres of development activity within a conservation or preservation area must request approval by the City Commission.

The request made to the Commission was to allow 5.80 acres of a preservation and wetland area for roadway construction for the Northeast Gateway Project. To mitigate the impact to the conservation area, the project proposed designating an area of land greater than 5.80 acres in size into a perpetual conservation easement which otherwise would not be required to be preserved.

The conservation area would provide an additional habitat buffer along the western boundary of the remaining floodplain and wetland area. Upon completion of the project, the conservation easement would be turned over to the City.

According to staff, approval of the variance will enable the project to proceed with the Environmental Permit application, which, once issued, will allow for construction to commence on Phase I of the Northeast Gateway Project.

17 Responses to "City Commission Grants Variance for Northeast Gateway Project"

  1. Mr. Hawkins is right on both his posts, hell I would have to say that have agreed with about 98% of his posts. I was there that night he brought up the car question and when he explained it, it blew my mind because I didn’t even think about the number of cars. When I saw all the faces of those that were their, I knew they didn’t think about the number of cars either until just then. I sure would like to see him in Office, he is a nice guy and we could use someone like him, HINT HINT.

  2. This native N. Floridian has worked with charitable nonprofits every week since 2009, donating money and time, often when I have little of either. I have put in countless hours of blood, sweat, tears, yes literally, and what dollars I could. THE GHAZVINIS ARE NOT A NONPROFIT. There is nothing they do truly from their hearts without a quid pro quo, financial benefit, or increased hubris for themselves. They game the system, toss a little money around as they play the ruse to get what they want, and reap the rewards with full cooperation of Growth Management and the majority of commissioners. The only people who could look at the environmental devastation the Egads-vinis and Bombsaway-Boulos cause and think its an improvement over the eden that was there, are those who aren’t capable of appreciating a heritage live oak over the pitiful twigs these devilopers plant and call mitigation. Look at the mature canopy and understory before they destroy it, and contrast that to the crap they plant in its place, then come back 5 years later, then 10 years later and 20, and so on, and what they planted is still crap because. It will never be anything but crap, no matter how they proclaim how good they think it looks. If they could make a profit on causing dessertification, they would, and they’d say it sure is purty and move on to the next greenspaces to do the same thing.

    I can’t blame the devils for dancin’. It’s the sinnin’ commissioners dancing with them who have let this happen. Every one of these commissioners could produce a list of derelict properties and blighted sites for redevelopment that would demonstrate smart infill principles. That would in fact be an improvement, that would demonstrate care for this community. But as long as these devilopers are allowed to dance to their own tunes, there is absolutely ZERO incentive for them to preserve and conserve, they will continue to turn green edens into hells. Guaranteed. But who cares as long as they toss a few dollars in their black wakes.

  3. The road crossing sounds like a minor issue to me.

    What does bother me are the acres and acres of jammed together production housing – the Canopy product is no better than the look-alike sprawl development that is has filled up Central and South Florida.

  4. Do keep in mind that donations made by companies like Boulos and Ghazvini are tax deductions. Don’t be so naive to think that they make these donations out of the kindness of their hearts or love of the people in the community. They “laugh all the way to the bank” at the stupidity of our local government leaders and citizens who let them do as they please with impunity.

    Once they’ve done about as much environmental, traffic congestion and corruption damage as they can get away with, they’ll simply pack-up and move-on to a new city to continue expanding their wealth, empires and family legacy.

    These are very bad people.

  5. Mr J

    “How much have YOU done, donated to Charities, helped the Homeless, participated in Habitat Builds, helped FSU & FAMU, donated to medical research compared to the Ghazvini’s?”

    “Try to do some intelligent research.” Thank you, but you just did it for us. You cannot put a price on or buy credibility.

    Thank you for confirming what we already knew. We shall mark this as Exhibit Evidence A.

  6. What a bunch of ignorant remarks. Canopy has approximately 1/3 or 150 acres of Conservation area & holding ponds. 70’ buffer zone down Canopy Roads, the Miccosukee Greenway runs all the way from Fleishman Road to Roberts Road (7 miles). Try to do some intelligent research. Never mind, you are already in your home, so just impede others from getting into theirs. How much conservation area is in your community? What are land & infrastructure costs now vs. then. How much have YOU done, donated to Charities, helped the Homeless, participated in Habitat Builds, helped FSU & FAMU, donated to medical research compared to the Ghazvini’s?

  7. CC

    Oh by the way, growth is supposed to be environmentally safe, publicly safe, professionally engineered and aesthetically appealing. Welaunee, Boulos, sewage spill after sewage, EPA fines, etc., does not indicate that they are following the environmental rules or growth management rules and are putting the public at risk such as sewage spills, and contamination of lakes.

    Commissioners Matlow and Porter are doing their job.

  8. Everyone of you are the reason Tallahassee lags behind in growth and development. All of you complain about Target, Publix and traffic congestion, etc. until it comes time to go visit those amenities that, guess what, were made by Developers. Just go look at other cities and compare how they left us (Tallahassee) behind because of ignorant rants from people who have no idea what it takes to make a community better. Move to Jefferson or Wakulla County if you want to stay rural. Go buy some land and sing Kumbaya– but let the capital of Florida grow and develop. The NE gateway will reduce traffic from Thomasville and Capital Circle NE which is currently a disaster. And, by the way, the project was approved by referendum which means your constitutes voted for it on ballot. Oh by the way, yes there will be shopping amenities, public parks, etc. which will ultimately enhance your lifestyle so you can come back on here and thank those terrible Developers risking their assets later. By the way, if Matlow and Porter had their way you would be riding your horse and buggy an hour away for basic amenities because they don’t support any growth of any kind.

  9. David T., I hear you well.
    Rome wasn’t lost in a day, it was chipped away. Just like the Ghazvinis, Boulos and some others are steadily chipping away at environmental features that we were renowned for. 5.25 acres of wetlands here, 15 acres of watershed there, 35 acres of forest over yonder, 18 acres of mature oaks around the corner.
    Tbese developers will cry how misunderstood they are…how they only seek to help us eith housing and improve the land for generations to come. Liars, thieves and enviro-terrorists all. If they cared one iota, they’d perform infill by redeveloping the deteriorated properties throughout this county, including rundown hotels and abandoned office space the commissioners even acknowledge. But no, they gleefully prefer utter destruction of natural areas until “Rome” has no more to render up. Thank you commissioners for aiding and abetting them, you fools, to think the pocket change you receive in return is worth selling your souls.

  10. I know some would call me a xenophobe. I guess I am because I hate the thought of middle eastern developers from countries mainly composed of sand and deforested mountains clearcutting our beautiful forests and filling in our wetlands here in Florida. Yes, I do think its purposeful environmental terrorism on their parts, not just greed. Oh, how they must laugh at the stupid greedy american commissioners and city/county staff for aiding them so happily.

  11. Nicholas you are right. Every bit of land Boulos and the Ghazvinis touch looks like a bomb was dropped on it with their clearcutting and violations of code. The city’s true MO for them is, “Land Development Code, we don’t need no stinking Land Development Code.”

    Interestingly enough, our Governor may try to stop China from buying large tracts of our agricultural land. Now if only he could help stop these middle eastern rooted developers from buying and destroying our tracts of forests/watersheds/wetlands.
    These bloody tossers commit environmental terrorism in the guise of providing “affordable” housing. But the true cost of their clearcuts, violations and disregard for canopy, understory, ravines, creeks waterbodies, etc., is far from “affordable.” And Growth Management with the support of commissioners looks the other way.

    Just why is it we people who care about a legacy environment to protect and be proud of never have the deep pockets it takes to shutdown the Bouloses and Ghazvinis in our state. Are the historically renowned Phipps has-beens and cant compete anymore, or they just dont care enough to. The Phipps could be even greater heros to this generation, but it seems like maybe they’ve lost the motivation. Just imagine what the Ghazvinis or Boulos would have done to the forested land around Lake Jackson, the Meridian complex and Klapp-Phipps Park, as well as the Tall Timbers land. But now we need the Phipps and folks like them to step up big time while there are still some pockets of green space in the city/county to preserve.

  12. This whole thing reminds me of the few Days BEFORE Russia invaded Ukraine. Think back…… Biden gave Russia the OK to invade Ukraine BUT only to go in just 150 Miles, no more. NOW look what happened. HERE, they are getting the OK to just mess up only 5.8 Acres of Protected Wetlands. I can’t wait to see what happens……………

  13. When I went to the Meetings about the Welaunee “Canopy Subdivision” before they started on it, I was the ONLY ONE who asked how they were going to move the Cars. I had to explain to them that there will be up to 3000 Vehicles staying in that Subdivision and you put it between TWO Canopy Roads that you can NOT widen and NO ONE would answer the question. Now look how much it is costing us Tax Payers.

  14. This “City Grants Variance,” hence why there are sewage spills after sewage spills, contaminated lakes, developers in tight with elected officials are fined by the EPA and the Florida Water Management, etc. There is no proper Environmental rules being followed by the majority of elected officials at City Hall. The mayor and city manager are rogue regarding following Environmental rules and laws and fortunately for them and unfortunately for the rest of the universe they have two blind followers to help do their bidding.

  15. I perfer not to step in the woke vs not so woke (when its convenient) commissioner’s fetid pile of smelly brown in regards as to which point of view is better. All 5 commissioners are leftists and disagreeable to conservatives.
    Here is the totally free and environmently friendly way to resolve the Northeast Gateway Project.
    Shut it down right now. Cease all construction and cover up all the holes dug which are altering our enviornment.
    But Snidely how then 1.) will the wealthy, privledged, mostly white and Democratic voting residents then get home from work on time? How then 2.) will the wealthy, privledged, mostly white and Democratic voting residents then get from home back to work on time?
    Living where these residents live is a privledge. It is far far away from the crime and B on B murders on our southside…so here comes the answers.
    Answers: 1.) You wont get home on time.
    2.) You will go to bed 1 hour early and wake up 1 hour early.
    There problem solved in an enviornmently sustainable fair to all citizens way.
    Then take the remaining N. E. Gateway money and give our long suffering southside mostly black poor residents something the really need.
    You are welcome.

  16. We can get blinded by culture war wedge issues, but Matlow and Porter are the ones fighting for Northeast’s quality of life time after time. Paving over prehistoric pristine wetlands for a publicly subsidized road that doesn’t serve current capacity (simply inducing demand for further new development up here) is a mistake we’re going to regret. Conservatives beware real talk follow the money here.

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