On September 27, the Tallahassee City Commission will consider a staff report related to the City-owned portion (428 acres) of the Welaunee Toe-East property. The report provides information about conservation easements and open spaces on the property.
Previously, the Commission directed staff to bring back an agenda item that would provide information regarding the City-owned portion of the Welaunee property and considerations for placing a conservation easement on a portion of the property. This direction was given after former City Commissioner Gil Ziffer proposed that the city “carve out a good-sized portion of that land … either a permanent conservation easement or something similar that will keep it from ever being developed commercially.” Ziffer noted that the conservation easement would not affect the construction plans on Welaunee Boulevard.
The report explains that the Welaunee Toe-East property consists of 430 acres and is part of a much larger Welaunee Critical Area Plan. Previously, the city approved a Planned Unit Development (PUD) for the property. The PUD includes a mixture of residential and non-residential land uses along with an integrated open space network which takes up more than 44% of the property. The report notes that the 44% open space set aside on the Welaunee Toe-East property more than doubles the percentage set aside for similar sized PUDs. For instance, Piney Z and Bull Run are of similar size to Welaunee Toe-East and have 17% and 19% open space set aside, respectively.
The Welaunee Toe-East provides a minimum of 190 acres of open space and anticipates up to 2,655 residential dwelling units with 33% of the property allocated towards residential development. Walaunee has been identified as a key component of the long-term growth strategy for Tallahassee since the 1990s.
The plan for Welaunee is to provide housing, employment opportunities near the created housing, institutional and civic uses to support the area population and finally to connect people to a network of trails and acreages of open space.
The report explains the Welaunee property is divided into three sections, Toe, Heel and Arch and that at least 2,517 acres of the Waleunee Toe, Heel and Arch will be set aside as open space. The Comprehensive Plan requires that the primary open spaces have management plans, be open to the public, and provide connections to greenways.
Combined with the acreage of Miccosukee Canopy Road Greenway, the report notes that the total acreage of open space is more than 3,000 acres.