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City Stalls Welaunee Development After Code Violations

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Leon Trees
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http://leontrees.org/explore/

The City of Tallahassee is suspending construction at the Welaunee development because of permit violations. The company behind the Canopy development on Welaunee Boulevard cleared a 700 foot stretch of woods and enlarged a stormwater pond without proper permits. 

The city is ordering the developers to survey and mitigate the impact, which could involve replanting trees. The company cleared a 700 ft. by 10 ft. wooded parcel that's included in the Canopy Road Protection Zone, a city ordinance specifically designed to preserve signature trees along the city's streets.

But Steve Palmer with the city’s growth development office says the work would’ve been permissible. It just hadn’t been approved yet.

“The work that was done would have been permitted. We’re confident of that.  But because it was started prior to the issuance of the permit, we were forced to issue a notice of violation to have the contractor and the developer stop their work and come in for the permit,” Palmer said.

Despite the apparent breakdown in the city's permitting process, Palmer says he is pleased with the result.

“It think this is a case of a successful outcome and solution to the problem of having started early, not to…having done work outside of what the code would require,” he said.

The 505 acre residential development stretches along canopied Centerville Road and the Miccosukee Greenway. Community groups have raised previous concerns about clear-cutting of trees at the site.

As a Tallahassee native, Kate Payne grew up listening to WFSU. She loves being part of a station that had such an impact on her. Kate is a graduate of the Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts. With a background in documentary and narrative filmmaking, Kate has a broad range of multimedia experience. When she’s not working, you can find her rock climbing, cooking or hanging out with her cat.