~ Neal Witkin, BRRA Board Secretary, City Liaison
The city council had its semi monthly meeting on November 7th.
Of interest to Barefoot residents was the second reading of an ordinance regarding Separate and Independent Amendment to the Master Development Agreement of the Parkway Group Development PDD known as Apace Lakes Townhomes.
The plan is to develop 154 units on Watertower Road around the pond across from the Water Department Pump House and adjacent to the route 22 and 31 interchanges.
With this planned development along with others along Watertower Road, my count of new living units approximates 1,300 new neighbors times two cars for each unit equals 2,600 more vehicles.
As city liaison for the Barefoot Board of Directors, I spoke publicly at the meeting about the increased amount of traffic on Watertower and the potential for more cut through traffic in Barefoot Resort. Admittedly, stopping development isn’t much of a possibility. However, I expressed great urgency and concern for the city and county to address the needs of traffic on Watertower Road. Specifically the widening of Watertower Road.
I suggested that perhaps a current traffic study is needed to support a higher priority for widening Watertower sooner than later.
Considering where Apace Lakes Townhomes is situated along the Watertower corridor; it appears that much of the traffic headed to route 17 will use the 31 and 22 highways to access shopping and other businesses. Once these new homeowners come through Barefoot and get stopped at the swing bridge; the delay may convince them to divert their travels in the other direction. However, some will obviously still chose the Barefoot shortcut.
There was no reaction to my suggestion for a new traffic study which motivates me to revisit this idea with the Director of Public Works.
On the same subject of the Apace Lakes Townhomes, Barefoot resident Tom Powell also spoke to the council in the public part of the agenda expressing his concerns for the increased traffic and potential vehicles moving through Barefoot.
The mayor told both Tom Powell and myself that she appreciated our expressed concerns about the traffic but offered no immediate remedy or plan of action to accelerate infrastructure improvements.
As promised, I followed up with the mayor and city manager about the meeting Jerry Saxon and myself had with them on September 19th about the dirty Club Course bridge over route 31 and the filthy sidewalks in Longbridge and Brookstone caused by the truck traffic during the Seaglass construction.
The city manager was supposed to contact the contractor for financial assistance to clean these areas in Barefoot. According to Mike Mahaney, our City Manager, he claims to have contacted the contractor but has not heard back. I will continue to follow up with him for resolution.