Tallahassee Democrat by Jeff Burlew
May 13, 2020
In an abrupt about-face, Leon County commissioners voted to proceed with a public hearing on changes to the Comprehensive Plan designed to aid development in the vast Welaunee property.
Last month, commissioners voted unanimously to press pause on major changes to the Comp Plan, the community’s blueprint for growth, until they begin meeting and taking public comment in person again.
But they voted 4-3 on Tuesday night to reverse that at the behest of Commissioner Bryan Desloge, who brought it up under his own time at the end of the commission meeting. The item was not advertised on the county’s agenda.
Welaunee, a 5,000 acre undeveloped site in northeast Leon County, and the Canopy development it spun off, could become one of Tallahassee’s biggest residential and commercial hubs over coming years, though it’s drawn major concerns from environmental advocates.
The imminent debut of Canopy, a master planned community under construction south of Interstate 10, has stirred dread and prompted pushback from residents upset over clear-cutting and permit compliance troubles.
Desloge, however, defended the unscheduled move, saying plans for Welaunee have been in the works for thirty years.