Welaunee Arch Master Plan
Facts & Figures
  • On April 15, 1990, the City of Tallahassee and Welaunee Plantation property owners entered into an Urban Services Development Agreement.

  • The Welaunee Critical Area Plan was adopted in 2002 to:

 

“Guide planned development within the Welaunee Critical Planning Area through implementation of a critical area plan which includes a mixture of integrated land uses that are predominantly self-supporting rather than dependent upon public funding, places a greater emphasis on pedestrian mobility and transportation alternatives, provides new employment opportunities near major transportation arteries and protects natural systems in an urbanized setting.”

  • The Welaunee Critical Area Plan was adopted by the City and County Commissions in 2005.

  • On February 2, 2006, an amended and restated Urban Services Development Agreement was entered into.

  • The original Urban Services Area was established in 1990. Since 1997, it has been amended 10 times:
     

- 1997-1 Thomasville Road

- 1997-1 Bradfordville Road

- 1997-1 Capital Circle SE

- 1999-1 Buck Lake Road

- 2000-1 Centerville Road

- 2000-2 Blountstown Highway

- 2003-2 Meridian Road

- 2004-2 Tower Road

- 2005-2 Woodville Highway

- 2010-2 TLH Airport
 

  • Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) have already been developed and adopted for portions of Welaunee:
     

- 2011: Canopy

- 2013: Welaunee Toe East

  • The city and the county have had over 80 meetings on the Critical Area plan since 2005, all of which have been publicly noticed and have received public participation.

  • The Planning Department first presented the Welaunee Arch Master Plan Comprehensive Plan Amendments (Welaunee Arch Amendments) in September 2019. (Prior to COVID-19 pandemic)

  • In total, the Welaunee Arch Amendments have gone through:
     

- 2 public workshops,

- 2 public hearings,

- Review and comment from 5 state agencies,

- 11 virtual public charettes,

- 2 virtual public feedback sessions on a revised master plan.

Welaunee Arch Master Plan
Environmental & Neighborhood Protection Measures

The Master Plan currently provides: 
 

  • Springs and Aquifer Protection,

  • Fish and Wildlife Preservation Policy,

  • Protections for High Quality Successional Forests and Native Forests,

  • Protections for heritage Trees & Canopy Roads,

  • Wildlife corridors for existing ecosystem,

  • A plan to prevent & reduce conflicts with bears,

  • A plan to reduce nighttime light pollution and the preservation of "dark-skies" in the region,

  • Design guidelines for regional stormwater facilities for PUD's,

  • Implementation of proven stormwater master plan for the entire Arch,

  • Requirement of sewer service for the entire arch to prevent septic fields,

  • Preventive measures against Urban Sprawl,

  • Integrated mixed use centers, diverse housing types, and the internal capture of transportation trips,

  • Coordination with Star Metro for future transit service,

  • Electric vehicle charging stations,

  • Incentives for LEED standards and building-mounted solar,

  • Renewable energy pledge: Complying with the City of Tallahassee renewable and clean energy ordinances,

  • Protection for neighborhood aesthetic with regards to slopes and terrain features,

  • Transportation Master Plan,

  • Traffic data analysis based on maximum density,

  • Clarification of planning around the I-10 overpass and associated interchange,

  • Planning and consideration of public facilities in the phasing of the Arch,

  • Provide more detailed planning on fire service and fire stations,

  • Coordination with the Leon County School Board which outlines the parameters for new educational infrastructure,

  • A plan for Inclusionary & Affordable Housing,

  • Buffer zone in between surrounding neighborhoods and other developments.

Welaunee Arch Master Plan
Other Public Benefits

The Master Plan currently provides: 
 

  • 1,900 acres as open space, parks, conservation area, and greenways for public use,

  • 8-mile linear park with paved bicycle and pedestrian trails, and adjacent equestrian trails.

  • A pedestrian/bicycle bridge crossing I-10 and connecting the greenway to existing and new trails that will have rest stops open to the public (similar to St. Marks Trail in southern Leon County),

  • Commercial Employment and Activity Center surrounding the anticipated I-10 interchange,

  • 3 mixed-use Town and Village Centers providing neighborhood-level commercial opportunities.

Welaunee Arch Master Plan
Economic Impact Estimates
  • 55,000 new employment opportunities.

  • $7.5 Billion total economic output. 

(Rough estimates are a result of financial comparisons between the economic impact analysis of the Canopy project and the entire Master Plan) 

Other Key Factors
  • The Bureau of Economic and Business Research provides population projections FOR Leon County indicate a population growth of 53,668 people by 2045.

  • Tallahassee's housing inventory is at an all-time low,

  • Existing homes for sale are either old, requiring major renovations, or overpriced due to high demand, 

  • Recently, the Brookings Institute has documented that American families are choosing to live in smaller metros, suburbs, and rural areas in search of more affordability. The current crises have accelerated this process since the exposure risk of Covid-19 is higher in crowded metro's compared to suburban neighborhoods,

  • In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that some 7% of U.S. workers worked largely out of their homes, and that 10% or so worked from home one day a week. Today, roughly 40% of jobs can be done remotely. This will increase the demand for larger homes with spare rooms for office spaces in our area.

Grow Tallahassee's Position
  • The current plan presents a holistic approach, balancing the needs of our community with environmental protections and public amenities, 

  • Housing is an extremely important component of economic development and growth. Welaunee Arch Master Plan provides a road map to satisfy future demand,

  • This is not the first time, and it won't be the last time the master plan will be amended.

  • The Welaunee Arch Amendments are not being rushed. There has always been a process to modify the plans; and, per the Comprehensive Plan, the proper procedures to modify these plans have been followed.

  • This is a Master Plan. The Arch, Toe, and Heel were always planned to be incrementally developed. Approving amendments does not mean construction of maximum density in the near future. 

  • As densities are modified and PUD's go through permitting process, there will be future opportunities for public input. 

  • Voting against the Welaunee Arch Master Plan and/or proposed amendments:
     

- will prevent income and employment opportunities, 

- will limit housing options for Tallahassee residents,

- will increase the existing shortage in our housing market, therefore increase prices,

- will stagnate local economy by failing to accommodate expected population increase.

Conclusion

We believe that the Welaunee Arch Master Plan and proposed amendments are an example of responsible community planning. The Tallahassee City Commission and Board of County Commissioners must stop politicizing issues that impact the living standards of Tallahassee residents. 

 

 

APPROVE THE AMENDMENTS ON NOVEMBER 10th

© 2023 by Grow Tallahassee, Inc.