On December 6th, Nassau County celebrated an award win for planning excellence at the Northeast Florida Regional Council’s annual Elected Officials Luncheon and Regional Leadership Awards event. The County received this year’s award for Excellence in Planning and Growth Management for the William Burgess Overlay District. Nassau County’s work was selected from the seven county region that encompasses Northeast Florida.
The Burgess Overlay and Vision Book represent a philosophical shift in land use planning in Nassau County away from the auto-dependent development pattern that has dominated growth and towards a sustainable, compact, mixed-use and multi-modal development pattern. The intent of the WBD is to utilize the built environment to promote social ties and the cultivation of community, highlight Nassau’s railroad history to facilitate a sense of place experience, and take advantage of multi-modal transportation opportunities in a growing part of Yulee. As noted in the NEFRC’s comments on presentation of the award, “The William Burgess Overlay District and Vision Book lay the groundwork for future proactive, innovative land use planning in Nassau County, and serve as a model for other communities in Florida. All our communities have been talking about these issues. Nassau County is doing it.”
This is the third award for the County’s Planning and Economic Opportunity Department this year related to work on the William Burgess Overlay District. In September, the Nassau County Planning and Economic Opportunity Department won the American Planning Association-Florida Chapter award for Best Practices, one of only three statewide Best Practices awards this year, for the Burgess Overlay. In November, the First Coast Chapter of the Florida Planning and Zoning Association awarded Nassau County the Master Planning of Land Areas Award for the William Burgess Overlay.
The Nassau County PEO Department has been very busy working to help the community and citizens plan for the future, especially in the face of growth pressures impacting the County. As Taco Pope, AICP and PEO Director explains, “As Nassau enters this period of population expansion, it is imperative the community make planning, policy and design decisions that that put people at the center of the equation – establishing a people-first agenda. Such an agenda prioritizes citizen wellbeing, quality-of-life and generational sustainability.” Planning staff, after listening and working with community members, are facilitating many numerous long-range planning projects that aim to help the County prosper and maintain balance and cohesiveness.
Nassau County looks forward to more proactive planning opportunities to ensure Nassau County maintains its high quality of life and is the best county in Florida in which to live, work, and play. More information on the William Burgess Overlay can be found at www.nassaucountyfl.com/burgessoverlay.
The Nassau County Planning and Economic Opportunity Department is charged with leading long-range and current planning for the community, with a focus on technical planning, implementation and management of the Land Development Code and Comprehensive Plan, development and site plan review, and assistance to citizens, the Board of County Commissioners, County Manager and other staff, advisory boards, government agencies, and the private sector regarding growth and development in Nassau County. For more information on our Plan, Code, or current initiatives, visit www.nassaucountyfl.com/planning, call (904) 530-6300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, please contact Adrienne Burke, Assistant Director for the Department of Planning and Economic Opportunity at (904) 530-6300 or via email at email@example.com.