By DOTTY NIST
County commissioners are scheduled to hold a continuation of their public hearing on the 723 Whiskey Bravo redevelopment proposal.
The item is part of the agenda for the Feb. 8 Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) regular meeting.
The BCC public hearing process on the 723 Whiskey Bravo proposal began on Jan. 11, with commissioners listening to over two hours of testimony and public input. The hearing was continued, with county staff being directed to review the traffic circulation plan for the project to insure that it would work satisfactorily.
Located on the north side of CR-30A in Seagrove, the property for which the project is proposed is 1.16 acre in size and contains the former Wheelhouse restaurant and five tourist cottages.
New property owner Skip Moore has plans to replace the circa-1953 restaurant building with a new structure slightly smaller in area and located further back on the property in order to comply with current setback requirements of the land development code. The plans would eliminate the current parking spaces along CR-30A at the front of the restaurant and provide parking at the back of the building.
The restaurant is to be 4,225 square feet on the lower level with a 1,448-square-foot roof platform. A 316-square-foot addition is proposed to the existing commercial building on the property, and the five cottages are to be renovated. There are plans for one of the cottages to be a Cowgirl Kitchen. A home and mobile home on the property are to be removed. Landscaping and 20-foot buffers on the eastern, northern, and western boundaries of the property are also proposed.
Much of the public comment on the proposal has targeted plans to allow vehicles to exit from the north side of the property onto narrow residential streets. Headland Avenue runs along the east side of the restaurant property between CR-30A on the south and Birmingham Street on the north. Gardenia Street runs along the west side, curving west to run parallel with CR-30A, changing its name to East Grove Street and then intersecting with CR-395.
The developers are proposing to route traffic exiting the property onto Gardenia Street and East Grove. As the result of public input at a community meeting and concern about potential traffic impacts on Birmingham Street, a gate across the Birmingham Street right-of-way is being proposed.
Instead, Gardenia Street homeowner John Miller, who represents approximately 90 other property owners in the vicinity, has proposed widening Headland Avenue by approximately four feet, using part of the developer’s property, and making Birmingham Street one-way running west, with a do-not-enter sign rather than a gate at the Headland Avenue-Birmingham Street intersection. Miller has advocated making the expanded Headland Avenue the only entrance/exit to the property. In order to avoid traffic impacts on Gardenia Street and East Grove Avenue, he has urged against the developers’ plan to use these 12-foot-wide neighborhood roads as an exit route from the property….
Read the full story in the February 3, 2011 edition of the Herald Breeze