Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Citizens Group Hoping to Exert Influence; the Subject: Proposed Road near Lake Asbury

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Citizens Group Hoping to Exert Influence; the Subject: Proposed Road near Lake Asbury

Article excerpt

Byline: R. Michael Anderson, County Line staff writer

A citizens group trying to block a proposed highway through neighborhoods near Lake Asbury has scheduled a meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at Shriner's Hall on County Road 209.

The meeting, organized by Clay Citizens for Sound Development, is a follow-up to a meeting July 15 that was attended by hundreds of concerned residents who viewed Florida Department of Transportation plans for a so-called "outer beltway" connecting Clay and St. Johns counties.

The proposed highway would provide a continuous loop from Interstate 10 on Jacksonville's Westside to I-95 in St. Johns County, extending from Branan Field-Chaffee Road southward across Black Creek, through neighborhoods just east of Lake Asbury to Green Cove Springs and across the St. Johns River.

Since the initial meeting two months ago, members of the group have urged county commissioners to oppose DOT's preferred route and support an alternate route that would create less disruption to homeowners.

The purpose of the meeting next week is to inform residents of the progress the group has made and how they can influence decision-makers to make a different decision about the outer beltway, said Ginny Stibolt, representing Clay Citizens for Sound Development.

Though the group was formed primarily to shift the outer beltway corridor away from their homes, leaders said the organization will continue to represent homeowners' interests in other growth-related issues affecting the county as well.

The mission, Stibolt said, is to have a unified public voice to influence state and local offcials to make what the group considers sound decisions about growth in Clay County.

The group has called on state transportation officials and county commissioners to select an alternate route for the outer beltway farther to the west. …

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