Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Baymeadows Schools Clear Traffic Hurdle

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Baymeadows Schools Clear Traffic Hurdle

Article excerpt

Jacksonville's traffic problems won't stall construction of two

public schools in the Baymeadows area after all.

But the prospect of such a roadblock, raised early this month,

scared local officials enough that they agreed the city and

Duval County School Board need to work together to prevent

future problems.

"It shows you how ridiculous government has gotten, when you

are sitting there having to go through hoops to build a school,

as bad as we need schools," Mayor John Delaney said yesterday.

While city permitting won't be a problem, officials say they

can't meet their goal of opening the schools at the start of the

next academic year.

School officials want to build a new elementary and a middle

school on an extension of Baymeadows Road. City planners warned

this month that growth-management laws might not allow that,

because nearby areas are already overburdened with traffic.

But after studying the school site in detail, planners said

the traffic problems are far enough away they won't affect the

project.

The city's initial warning was made before school officials had

identified a specific site for planners to study, Planning

Director Jeannie Fewell said. She said school officials had

sought planners' preliminary advice but hadn't filed a formal

permitting application showing where the schools would be.

At the time, school officials were considering several parcels

along the extension.

The site the School Board favors now is a tree farm perhaps 2

miles east of Baymeadows and Southside Boulevard, one of the

city's busiest intersections. The Baymeadows extension and

are still under construction.

The schools will house 1,050 elementary students and 1,750

middle school students, creating substantial bus and car traffic

to the property. …

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