Prior to the Town Hall meeting, panel members interviewed local leaders including the County Commissioners, various County staff, Mayors of both the Town of Callahan and Hilliard, and other individuals who have an understanding of the diversity of the county and its needs. Many expressed concerns about growth, failing roads, lack of adequate recreation, and traffic.
Residents in attendance at the Town Hall meeting expressed similar concerns. While they want to see more paved roads and sidewalks, they do not want an increase in traffic, commercial strip malls, and partially vacant subdivisions. Residents agreed that some commercial development would benefit the County financially and would provide quality jobs the citizens seek, however they don't want to see booming growth like Yulee has experienced over the last 10-20 years. Western Nassau is also expected to grow exponentially over the next 10-30 years. Planning Director, Taco Pope stated, "Whether you're pro-development or anti-development, it's coming. We need to be proactive". He indicated that the County is planning for sophisticated development and will follow the industry's best practices to achieve that.
The Technical Advisory Panel will consider all these concerns while preparing their final report to the Board of County Commissioners. The report is expected to be complete within the next 3 months and will include generalized recommendations on where growth should be directed and ideas on how to guide growth in a manner that reinforces quality of life in western Nassau.
County Manager's Office