Understanding and Supporting the New Envision Alachua PlanAugust 7th, 2015 by gainesvillechamber
When Plum Creek launched Envision Alachua back in 2011, the community responded with its ideas. Since then, more than 2,000 people helped create a vision and goals for a long-term master plan for more than 60,000 acres owned by Plum Creek in eastern Alachua County. The plan — known as the Envision Alachua Sector Plan (EASP) — was submitted to Alachua County in December 2013.
If this plan is approved, Alachua County won’t have to choose between economic growth and environmental conservation. Visit EnvisionAlachuaForBiz.com to read the business case, and see illustrated what we stand to gain if the plan moves forward. While you are there, please show your visible support by Joining the Supporters.
Following a comprehensive review by County staff and continuing input from County Commissioners and staff, community members and the Envision Alachua Task Force, Plum Creek listened carefully and responded by making significant revisions and clarifying parts of the original plan. The result is a revised EASP submitted to Alachua County on June 25 and reflecting what the community said it wants to see happen on Plum Creek land.
Key revisions to the Envision Alachua Sector Plan
The revised plan creates a more compact area for development centered around three jobs centers in eastern Alachua County:
- Area A is now the EA SR 20 Jobs Center – which can be shovel-ready by 2019
- Area B is now the EA Hawthorne Jobs Center and has been removed from the EASP This land will be annexed into the City of Hawthorne and can be shovel-ready by 2017
- Area C is now EA US 301 Jobs Center and can be shovel-ready after 2030
- Area D and E have been removed and will remain in its current land use category: rural/agriculture
- Plum Creek is considering a possible swap of Area E for the current Alachua County Fairgrounds
- The three jobs centers can accommodate 30,000 jobs over the next 50 years
The revised Envision Alachua Sector Plan will permanently protect 47,403 acres (90%) of the land from development and designating 3,381 acres (6%) for future job centers. Four percent of the land — 1,961 acres — remains designated for rural/agriculture use.
- It expands the Lochloosa Creek corridor to cover 3,538 acres of land and designates that land for preservation instead of conservation
- The maximum wetland impact for all Envision Alachua land is capped at 400 acres total over 50 years
- It aims to cut current water consumption in half by banning the use of drinking and reclaimed water for residential irrigation.