Gainesville City Commission gives final approval to Weyerhaeuser development in NW Gainesville

Press release from the City of Gainesville

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Development of the 1,778-acre Weyerhaeuser Company property in northwest Gainesville will move ahead in a manner that saves wetlands, preserves greenspace, includes affordable housing, and avoids urban sprawl. The revisions align with the City’s Comprehensive Plan and lay the groundwork needed to bring hundreds of new homes to the area.

This evening, the Gainesville City Commission voted in favor of the zoning changes required to allow the eventual future development of the property, marking another step in a timeline that spans four decades. Gainesville first annexed the southern portion of what’s now the Weyerhaeuser property in 1992, then acquired the remaining acreage in 2007. The original developer, Plum Creek, sold to Weyerhaeuser in 2015. Two years later, the company submitted a zoning proposal to the City. Commissioners rejected it in 2019, sending Weyerhaeuser back to the drawing board citing concerns about the proposal promoting low-density urban sprawl.

Today’s revised proposal was first presented to the City Commission last October, when it received a split vote of approval based on a number of important changes. 

  • The Murphree Wellfield and the headwaters for Rocky Creek, Hatchett Creek, and Turkey Creek will remain protected.
  • 1,160 acres of the property (approximately 65 percent) will be placed into permanent conservation and will remain undeveloped, including 773 acres of wetlands.
  • The revised proposal allows mixed-use development and a diversity of housing to be built on the property.
  • Low Impact Development (LID) design is required for stormwater management to mimic natural water flow, reduce flooding, and protect water quality.
  • At least 5 percent of residential units will be set aside permanently as affordable housing, defined as households earning between 80-120 percent of the median income for Alachua County for a family of four (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development).
  • Weyerhaeuser will submit a traffic study and mitigate any new traffic on SR 121 resulting from development of the property; will construct a network of paved multi-use trails; and will work with RTS to build transit stations when bus service is extended to the area.

The vote to allow Weyerhaeuser to develop the property reflects the City’s effort to manage and balance growth while preserving the community’s unique character and greenspace. Gainesville recorded a 54 percent increase in population between 1990 and 2018, and estimates predict almost 30,000 additional people will arrive by 2050. 

  • Just in time for more “climate refugees” from Blue states, folks who insist on living in Blue cities if they must move to a solvent Red state.

    • Most of the federal tax taker states are red and the tax payer states blue. That’s a fact.

      It’s also a fact that Trump counties in the 2020 election represent 30% of US GDP, while Biden counties represent 70% of US GDP.

      Look it up.

      • What does your political rant have to do with this development?
        Go stick your head back in the sand.

        • I responded to Jeff K’s ignorant post concerning red and blue state finances. Maybe you should address your comment to him.

      • So let me see if I get this right…
        Biden won with just over 51% of the vote & Trump lost with just under 48% of the vote. There were about 1000 people arrested as a result of the “storming” the Capital on January 6.
        That can only mean one thing; there’s a lot more dumb Biden voters than there are Trump supporters.

  • This will be a traffic disaster on SR-121 and NW 34th Street unless the city plans to widen that road or build another north-south road that runs from U.S. 441 (near where it intersects with NW 43rd Street) to Archer Rd.

    It’s absolutely ridiculous that during non-rush hour traffic, NW 34th Street is stop-and-go, bumper to bumper from NW 16th Ave. to Archer Rd.

    • That’s part of their long range plan. They expect working Americans to either bicycle or ride public transportation.

  • Stupid idea.
    The property was bulldozed years back, so this has been predetermined to pass.
    Who’s getting paid under the table?
    Instead of researching improvements to our disastrous traffic situation, let’s make it worse.
    NW 34th is already a 2 lane traffic quagmire so this will definitely make things worse.

    • NW 34th Street is a traffic nightmare.
      This is the WORST decision to date.
      Please Governor DeSantis stop these crazy idiots and remove them from office!

  • Affordable housing? Really? Better to call it what it will be: low income tenements.

    • 80% – 120% is workforce housing – teachers, police, fire, etc.

  • These Buffoons are making decisions that will last a lifetime for Gainesville. But this is not a lifetime consequence for the City Commissioner’s and Staff. They just move to fup another Community.

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