Blues Creek


IT NEVER ENDS….. Blues Creek Developer back for more

Please Attend Meeting before the City of Gainesville City Commission

May 19th, 2016, 6:00pm

 

Francine Robinson: Keep Blues Creek Conservation Area in natural state

There is a beautiful and critical 90-acre conservation area, protected by law, within the boundaries of Gainesville.

The conservation area borders the San Felasco Hammock State Preserve and protected land belonging to the Alachua Conservation Trust. Blues Creek runs through the area. The creek and wetlands provide water for our aquifer. Devil’s Millhopper is downstream of the creek.

The law that protects these 90 acres states clearly that “there shall be no construction or disturbance of the Conservation Area pre- or post-construction except for walkovers, nature trails and gazebos.”

In 1988, this law was set into place by a legal settlement agreement between the Conservation Planning Coalition of Alachua County and developer Larry Ross and his Alachua Land Investors (ALI), supported by the Suwannee River Water Management Board.

In 2008 (after the land was annexed into Gainesville), Larry Ross and ALI requested that the Gainesville City Commission approve use of the conservation area for a sewer line. This was rejected by a vote of the city commissioners.

In 2011, the Circuit Court ruled against Larry Ross and ALI when they brought forward their suit to utilize the conservation area against the prevailing law. In 2013, the District Court of Appeals also ruled against them, stating that ALI proposed a prohibited use in the conservation area.

Fast forward to now: Scott Ross of New Generation Homebuilders is proposing to run a 2-foot-diameter sewage pipeline, plus utility lines, through the conservation area of Blues Creek.

For the past 28 years, attempts by developers to use the conservation area for prohibited uses have been struck down by the commission and courts. When requested by the city of Gainesville, the courts imposed sanctions on the developer, who then had to pay more than $60,000 to help reimburse the city for its litigation costs.

It is time to let the conservation area rest in its natural state: constantly renewing, refreshing and maintaining our water, our air, our soil, our trees … for us and other forms of life depending on it.

We urge the members of the City Commission to vote to re-affirm Gainesville’s prior precedent when our officials voted to protect this irreplaceable conservation area.

Please attend the May 19th  meeting and/or contact Gainesville City Commission at citycomm@cityofgainesville.org and the Suwannee River Management District at http://www.mysuwanneeriver.com/contactus to let them know that you do not support the placement of utilities through the Blues Creek Conservation Area and that New Generation Home Builders should be required to follow the Millhopper Special Study Area Development Standards as currently required.

If you would like to get more involved in this issue, please contact Mike Turco at protectbluescreek@cox.net.