After reviewing the video of a 2018 city commission meeting and reviewing planning documents, detailed below are the origins of the proposed Velda Dairy Extension.
During a public hearing on April 25, 2018, the Tallahassee City Commission voted 4-0 to adopt an amendment to the existing Ox Bottom Meadows Planned Unit Development (PUD), located at the northwest corner of Ox Bottom and Thomasville roads.
Mayor Andrew Gillum and City Commissioners Nancy Miller, Scott Maddox, and Curtis Richardson voted for the amendment. City Commissioner Gil Ziffer was not at the meeting.
The amendment requested an increase in the acreage and square footage of commercial development allowed in the PUD. As a condition for approval, staff recommended that the developer be required to connect Velda Dairy Road to Ox Bottom Road.
Why was the connection required?
The Development Review Committee, which analyzed the amendment application ahead of the city commission, recommended that the applicant “be allowed to amend the transportation circulation map to align Ox Bottom Road with Velda Dairy Road in the future.”
However, during the April 2018 city commission meeting, staff stated that during the review of the PUD amendment application, staff began to investigate the alignment of Ox Bottom Road with Velda Dairy Road because of possible traffic benefits.
Staff noted that there is very limited access and egress at both roadway intersections with Thomasville Road and there is significant congestion at the intersection of Kerry Forrest Parkway and Thomasville Road.
The staff stated that preliminary analysis indicated that an aligned Velda Dairy and Ox Bottom Road “will provide better connectivity within the area and provide significant relief to the Kerry Forrest Parkway and Thomasville Road intersection.”
Based on these facts, the staff recommended that as a condition of approval of the amendment that Ox Bottom Road “shall” be aligned with Velda Dairy Road.
During the 2018 meeting, then Tallahassee City Commissioner Nancy Miller stated that she would only support the proposed amendment to the PUD if the Velda Dairy extension was required and if stormwater issues were adequately addressed. See video here.
If the proposed extension happens, TR was told that the Florida Department of Transportation will be involved from both an operations and financial perspective.
Another interesting fact revealed during the 2018 meeting was that the pond – which is now visible from Thomasville Road – is manmade and was constructed by a previous owner of the property.
An update is certainly needed on this article. Which is it… a man-made pond or a Class III Recreational Water Body?
They aren’t allowed to raise the 100-year water surface profile regardless and if a Class III Recreational Water Body they are required to protect wetlands including the hydrocycle of downstream wetlands.
I assume it is in the developers best interest regarding from the profit perspective to work with it as a man-made pond. This must be correctly identified and the elected officials and developers need to adhere to the environmental laws and regulations. If elected officials ignore the environment aspects to accommodate the developers pockets it will have devastating consequences on too many levels.
This is just stupid. It will help nothing, and I’m betting the majority of drivers that use Velda Dairy now when going home will find this hugely inconvenient, and continue on up to Kerry Forest, thus increasing congestion rather than decreasing it.
So, these idiots thought creating another major intersection a quarter mile south of Kerry Forest Pkwy would relieve congestion? Nancy Miller is a corrupted moron. Too bad her replacement isn’t any better…
Guaranteed there will be some high density houses on that corner, even though the maps sent to us thanks to Brian Welch say otherwise. Connecting Velda Dairy and OxBottom will do NOTHING to help the growing traffic nightmare on Thomasville during rush hour. It really is sad what these commissioners are allowing the developers to do to our community. Of course the developers are making big time $$$$$; but why are commissioners, who are supposed to represent “we the people”, allowing this? You just have to wonder………. $$$$$ for them too is the only explanation.
It is NOT a manmade stormwater pond. It is a Class III recreational waterbody that was altered at but STILL required to to meet water quality standards.
Good response Skeptic. Have experience with these issues. Govment needs funds to protect the developers.
A bit off topic, but I’ve always found the 100 year flood plain to be a joke. I’m sure there’s some very well intended purpose behind it, but I’ve had too many arguments with aggressive insurance salesmen that insisted I buy flood insurance (from them) because the house is near the 100 year flood plain. In one case, the house was easily above the 100 year marker but the corner of the property was not. The last 6′ of the driveway and the mailbox post were the only things on the property below the marker. Still, the salesman insist that I buy his insurance. I told him that I really wasn’t worried about the end of the driveway floating away, but that I’d buy his insurance if he’d agree, in writing, that the full value of the policy would be paid to me if the driveway or mailbox post got wet. He finally slithered away…..
I imagine they are breaking a federal law that requires that a development is not allowed to cause a rise in the hundred year floodplain.
Bundlers are able to forgo the engineering and laws when developing and after they develop the bundlers of bundle contributions have already walked away with millions and even hefty fines for their destruction and is of no consequence to them.
Let’s watch all the recipients of the bundled contributions push this through and then let’s watch the flooding that will come down the pike, then the sewage spills, and then the fines… rinse and repeat…. the Tallahassee tradition.
If the neighborhoods want to be proactive they may want to involve the NWFEMD.
What a waste.
Without a traffic light at the Thomasville Rd / Velda Dairy intersection, a continuation of Velda Dairy to connect to Ox Bottom will be useless during high traffic periods. And a light there seems counter productive. I would have made more sense to connect Velda Dairy and Parrish way back before the neighborhood got built up.
The corner at Ox Bottom is some valuable real estate. If my money was tied up in this I certainly wouldn’t sacrifice it for a mostly meaningless road.