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Letter to the Editor: February 15, 2018


I am writing in reference to an upcoming County Commission meeting that will consider allowing Tallahassee Community College’s Law Enforcement Academy to build a “test track” for training purposes on property adjacent to mine. In fact, the proposed project puts the track approximately 57 feet from my property line.

I have owned my property for several years and purchased it fully intending to develop it into an affordable housing development — so badly needed in Gadsden County.

My neighbor to the northwest, Mr. Harvey Suber, and myself considered combining our properties, totaling nearly 700 acres, to form a dynamic development on a main corridor, Highway 90, halfway between Quincy and Tallahassee. We believe the location of this proposed track is not compatible with our planned use.

As to the delay in our development plans, the recent recession curtailed our venture. With economic recovery well on its way, it is now time for us to begin putting this project back together.

Mr. Suber and I have enough business sense to know the project will not be viable with the proposed track so near the property.

Tallahassee Community College has more than 1,000 contiguous acres they own on their site. The track covers approximately 14 acres.

Their engineers would tell us that the only site compatible with its construction is 57 feet from my property line. Anyone with common sense would suspect this is a false premise.

I am a strong supporter of law enforcement, but a project that conflicts with the compatible use of the adjacent properties of others makes no sense when a simple relocation could put the track in a far corner of their property, away from neighbors.

A recent presentation to the Board of Commissioners by Jerry D. Parrish, chief economist for the Florida Chamber Foundation, stressed how critical it is to provide affordable housing to our communities. If the proposed track project is allowed to proceed as currently planned, it would make no sense to invest my capital and energy on my planned usage as described.

This track is not compatible with residential development. It is, in fact, not in the best interests of Gadsden County. I would encourage the commission to consider the information detailed here.

Paul Hoppes