Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Branan-Chaffee Road Growth Plan Urged

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Branan-Chaffee Road Growth Plan Urged

Article excerpt

As the long-awaited Branan Field-Chaffee Road in northwest Clay

County becomes reality, developers will follow.

The Clay County Economic Development Committee wants to get

ahead of the developers and lay down some ground rules for

growth, to ensure the corridor does not become the Blanding

Boulevard of the new millennium.

That's why the committee will ask the County Commission next

week to fund a master plan for the Branan Field-Chaffee area,

which would identify the most appropriate land uses for each

part of the corridor.

Committee Chairman Jack Myers said developers should not be

allowed "to create their own destiny," but should be required to

follow a land-use plan. He cited two examples of development

leading to gridlock -- Blanding Boulevard in the Orange Park

area and the Butler Boulevard corridor in Duval County -- that

should not be repeated on Branan Field-Chaffee Road.

"There is a way to create a more harmonious type of situation,"

Myers said.

The committee will present its recommendations to the

commission during a Tuesday workshop. The 6 p.m. session will be

held at the County Administration Building in Green Cove Springs

and is open to the public.

In addition to the master plan, the committee will request a

countywide economic development study to find ways to reduce the

percentage of county residents who travel outside the county to

work, which is currently 54 percent and is expected to be 84

percent by 2015.

Also, the committee will ask it be allowed to remain in force

through the execution of both plans.

The Florida Department of Transportation plans to begin

building the 10.6-mile highway in the year 2000 as a four-lane

toll road to provide a vital connector between Clay and Duval

counties.

As currently designed, the highway will have limited access

between Blanding Boulevard in Middleburg and 103rd Street in

Jacksonville. Plans call for the road, ultimately, to extend to

Interstate 10.

The committee was appointed by the commission in mid-April to

study the likely economic impact of the Branan Field-Chaffee

Road and recommend a plan for controlling the resulting growth. …

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