Commercial development in rural Leon County is being limited. Commissioners approved changes to the county’s land codes Tuesday night. But some groups want even more restrictions on development.
The Commission’s vote caps the number of gas stations allowed at 27. That’s a decrease from the 200 previously allowed under the old plan.
The decision came as part of a push to prevent what some call extensive commercialization in Leon’s most rural areas.
Neil Fleckenstein, Spokesman for Tall Timbers Research Station and Nature Conservancy, says this move helps push development toward target areas.
“We’ve got existing established rural communities like Woodville, Miccosukee, and Fort Braden,” Fleckenstein says. “Those are areas that have been commercial centers for decades and those are the areas that are more appropriate as opposed to sporadically spread around the community.”
Fleckenstein says moving development toward designated rural areas will protect the surrounding environment and water quality.
But some, like, President Jeff Boyer of Keep It Rural Conservation Group want to see more restrictions.
“If you allow commercial sprawl in the rural, first of all you’ll ruin the rural characteristic, but you’ll also dissipate the economic viability of those rural communities that want and need the economic support,” Boyer says.
Boyer’s group wants to see the remaining 27 proposed gas stations nixed.
Bradley’s County Food Store and nine other established businesses will not be affected by any of the land code changes.