Councilman Opposes Southside Overpass

27 10 2004

Jacksonville City Councilman Lad Daniels said he will try to stop construction of an overpass at Southside Boulevard and Baymeadows Road. He said the city would get far more by adding lanes on the Florida 9A beltway.

Daniels would need at least 13 of 19 City Council members to agree because the Better Jacksonville Plan, approved by voters in 2000 with a half-cent sales tax increase, calls for an overpass at Southside Boulevard and Baymeadows Road.

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority will take the next step toward building an overpass when a Nov. 8 public hearing unveils the design for a four-lane bridge that takes Southside Boulevard drivers over both Baymeadows Road and nearby Old Baymeadows Road.

The JTA has been studying the intersection for two years and recently finished a regional traffic study that says an overpass is a critical piece of what’s needed to reduce rush-hour delays along the length of Southside Boulevard.

Daniels said drivers would benefit more from improvements to Florida 9A, the four-lane highway the state Department of Transportation expects to finish building through the Southside in 2006. Daniels said 9A needs to be six lanes before an overpass is built at Southside and Baymeadows.

He added the city shouldn’t make any decisions on the overpass without having updated cost estimates, which won’t be available until March or April.

The Better Jacksonville Plan earmarked $25 million for the Southside-Baymeadows overpass. A year ago, JTA estimated it would actually cost about $36 million. This year, higher prices for concrete and steel have driven up road construction expenses. JTA Deputy Executive Director Matt Dominy said it will cost more than $36 million to build the overpass.

By April, the JTA will have financial estimates for building overpasses and more ground-level lanes at numerous intersections along Atlantic, Beach, Southside and Kernan boulevards. After hearing the total cost, the City Council will make decisions on changing the Better Jacksonville Plan’s original list of projects.

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Councilman Opposes Southside Overpass

26 10 2004

Jacksonville City Councilman Lad Daniels said he will try to stop construction of an overpass at Southside Boulevard and Baymeadows Road. He said the city would get far more by adding lanes on the Florida 9A beltway.

Daniels would need at least 13 of 19 City Council members to agree because the Better Jacksonville Plan, approved by voters in 2000 with a half-cent sales tax increase, calls for an overpass at Southside Boulevard and Baymeadows Road.

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority will take the next step toward building an overpass when a Nov. 8 public hearing unveils the design for a four-lane bridge that takes Southside Boulevard drivers over both Baymeadows Road and nearby Old Baymeadows Road.

The JTA has been studying the intersection for two years and recently finished a regional traffic study that says an overpass is a critical piece of what’s needed to reduce rush-hour delays along the length of Southside Boulevard.

Daniels said drivers would benefit more from improvements to Florida 9A, the four-lane highway the state Department of Transportation expects to finish building through the Southside in 2006. Daniels said 9A needs to be six lanes before an overpass is built at Southside and Baymeadows.

He added the city shouldn’t make any decisions on the overpass without having updated cost estimates, which won’t be available until March or April.

The Better Jacksonville Plan earmarked $25 million for the Southside-Baymeadows overpass. A year ago, JTA estimated it would actually cost about $36 million. This year, higher prices for concrete and steel have driven up road construction expenses. JTA Deputy Executive Director Matt Dominy said it will cost more than $36 million to build the overpass.

By April, the JTA will have financial estimates for building overpasses and more ground-level lanes at numerous intersections along Atlantic, Beach, Southside and Kernan boulevards. After hearing the total cost, the City Council will make decisions on changing the Better Jacksonville Plan’s original list of projects.





City Intends to Fight for Wal-Mart Grocery

24 10 2004

A seemingly endless legal battle over a planned Wal-Mart grocery store on the Southside is headed for one more round in the courtroom.

Jacksonville filed its plans to appeal a ruling that overturned a City Council decision to allow a 40,000-square-foot grocery store at Atlantic Boulevard and Bartram Road.

A state administrative judge ruled the proposal violated the city’s plan for future development and, in September, the Florida Cabinet upheld the decision.

The city is appealing the decision to the First District Court of Appeal. That court’s decision is expected to be the final ruling in the case. Attorneys from both sides said a ruling could come in the spring.

In October 2003, the council voted 13-2 to approve the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, the Arkansas-based retailer’s new stand-alone grocery store. Dozens of nearby residents packed council hearings on the issue, saying the location is outside the commercial district and that the 24-hour business wouldn’t fit in the neighborhood.

The proposed site is just west of the busy intersection of Atlantic and University boulevards.





City Intends to Fight for Wal-Mart Grocery

23 10 2004

A seemingly endless legal battle over a planned Wal-Mart grocery store on the Southside is headed for one more round in the courtroom.

Jacksonville filed its plans to appeal a ruling that overturned a City Council decision to allow a 40,000-square-foot grocery store at Atlantic Boulevard and Bartram Road.

A state administrative judge ruled the proposal violated the city’s plan for future development and, in September, the Florida Cabinet upheld the decision.

The city is appealing the decision to the First District Court of Appeal. That court’s decision is expected to be the final ruling in the case. Attorneys from both sides said a ruling could come in the spring.

In October 2003, the council voted 13-2 to approve the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, the Arkansas-based retailer’s new stand-alone grocery store. Dozens of nearby residents packed council hearings on the issue, saying the location is outside the commercial district and that the 24-hour business wouldn’t fit in the neighborhood.

The proposed site is just west of the busy intersection of Atlantic and University boulevards.





D.R. Horton Plans $60 Million Project Near I-95, JTB

22 10 2004

D.R. Horton, Jacksonville’s largest residential builder, bought 30 acres of land in the southeast quadrant of J. Turner Butler Boulevard and Interstate 95, planning a development of nearly 400 townhouses and a high-tech hotel for the rapidly growing area near Philips Highway.

Texas-based D.R. Horton Inc. purchased land near the 7000 block of Bonneval Road on Oct. 15 from Fort Lauderdale-based AutoNation USA Corp., the world’s largest automobile retailer and owner of the Mike Shad chain of dealerships in Jacksonville.

D.R. Horton plans to clear the land and build about 400 townhouse units, creating a gated community with a pool, cabana complex and playground area.

The development will have 33 buildings of 12 units each, with one garage per unit. Pricing for the units will be from the $120,000s to the $160,000s, and sizes will range from 1,015 square feet to 1,550 square feet.

D.R. Horton has already secured planned unit development zoning for the property and expects construction to begin in January in order to have the units available for occupancy by next summer.





D.R. Horton Plans $60 Million Project Near I-95, JTB

22 10 2004

D.R. Horton, Jacksonville’s largest residential builder, bought 30 acres of land in the southeast quadrant of J. Turner Butler Boulevard and Interstate 95, planning a development of nearly 400 townhouses and a high-tech hotel for the rapidly growing area near Philips Highway.

Texas-based D.R. Horton Inc. purchased land near the 7000 block of Bonneval Road on Oct. 15 from Fort Lauderdale-based AutoNation USA Corp., the world’s largest automobile retailer and owner of the Mike Shad chain of dealerships in Jacksonville.

D.R. Horton plans to clear the land and build about 400 townhouse units, creating a gated community with a pool, cabana complex and playground area.

The development will have 33 buildings of 12 units each, with one garage per unit. Pricing for the units will be from the $120,000s to the $160,000s, and sizes will range from 1,015 square feet to 1,550 square feet.

D.R. Horton has already secured planned unit development zoning for the property and expects construction to begin in January in order to have the units available for occupancy by next summer.





Florida’s Black Population Grows

2 10 2004

An influx of about 292,000 black residents between 2000 and 2003 has
pushed Florida to second in the nation for black population, up from its
No. 4 position in 2000. According to U.S. Census figures, Florida had 2.8
million black residents as of July last year, compared to 3.6 million in
New York — the state with the largest number of blacks. Experts say
many new black Floridians came from the Caribbean or are of Caribbean
descent, although some also are African Americans returning to the
South in the continuation of a trend that started decades ago. Census
figures show that Broward County welcomed more new black residents
than any other county in Florida or the nation, with nearly 70,000
newcomers moving in during the three-year period.

Source: Associated Press








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