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Oct 262015
 

DSCF4085At the October, 2015 meeting we were treated to an excellent presentation on Rayonier’s partnership with Nassau County on two large-scale land use plans that will evolve over many decades – the Crawford Diamond Industrial Park and the East Nassau Sector Plan, a mixed-use development, known to some locals as the TerraPointe development.

DSCF4090Over the next 70-100 years, the East Nassau Sector Plan will include houses, offices, shops, resort facilities, medical facilities, schools, and industrial space on 24,000 acres that is largely located north of SR 200/AIA between I-95 and Chester Road to the state line. Within this large land area is the Lofton Creek Watershed that will be heavily buffered and other conservation acreage that will be preserved. (See map below.) In fact, roughly half of the 24,000 acres will be preserved and managed as a Conservation Habitat Network. It is one the largest proposed development projects in the Southeast and will dramatically change the entrance to Florida.

East Nassau Sector Plan FLUMIn West Nassau, the Crawford Diamond development is adjacent to US Highway 301 and the intersection of two Class 1 rail lines, CSX and Norfolk Southern. The 1,800-acre park is approximately 17 miles from key north-south and east- west arteries I-95 and I-10, and within 30 miles of two ports. Crawford Diamond can accommodate a broad range of large-scale industrial projects and has been certified by McCcallum Sweeney to meet key assessments of governmental, environmental, legal and utilities requirements.

Projects of this scale can seem imposing to residents living here, but Mike and Dan point out that Rayonier is focused on working with local government to responsibly address the unique growth challenges facing our County. In the East, project planning includes parallel roads to A1A, multi-modal transportation, parks and recreation, schools, fire houses, and other public facilities. These carefully thought-out land use plans will evolve as the market dictates but over a very long-term time horizon. For the East Nassau sector plan, the initial focus over the next decade will be in an area north of SR 200/A1A, proximate to I-95, the County Courthouse, and the FSCJ – Nassau Campus on about 250 acres. This will be a high quality, compact, mixed- use development consistent with the goals stated by county citizens in the Vision 2032 effort including:

– preserve and buffer natural assets like the Lofton Creek watershed and viewsheds to the St Mary’s River
– parks and recreation off Amelia Island
– hiking and biking trails / multi-modal transportation
– compact, low-impact development; and perhaps most importantly,
– attract private capital investment, high wage jobs, and, through a variety of land uses, broaden and diversify the tax base so that the County, over time, becomes less reliant on residential property taxes to fund all government services.

To learn more about these two developments here is a link to more information: www.raydientplaces.com

You can also contact Mike Bell at 904-321-5537 or Dan Camp at 904-321-5506.

Many thanks to Mike and Dan for sharing this presentation with our group and for taking time to answer questions and discuss details.

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