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fivesfella

Gun Range Loop Trail in danger (again)

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http://www.tallahassee.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a...D=2007708070315

Gun Range Loop Trail in danger

Olympic mountain bikers training for the 1996 Atlanta Games came to the Gun Range Loop Trail in the northwest corner of Tallahassee's award-winning Tom Brown Park for the course's roller-coaster terrain and technical difficulty. Out-of-towners seek out the twisting trail because of four-blaze reviews in national rating guides that call the Gun Range Loop "the best in the Panhandle."

Hundreds of local cyclists, runners and hikers rely on the accessible urban path for their fitness and recreation. More than 1,200 racers visit Tallahassee annually for special events sponsored by the FSU Cycling Team, Goneriding and the Atomic Race Team that utilize the trail's unique characteristics.

But local planners have the Gun Range Loop in their cross-hairs as a site for a 22,500-square-foot office building on 6.1 acres to house a police and emergency dispatch center.

Cyclists and businesses are up in arms about what they regard as an attempt at an inappropriate use of park land and the needless degradation of a valuable recreational, business and tourist asset.

"It's a great community resource out there," said local attorney and avid mountain biker John Davis. "It would be a tremendous loss if they were to tear it up."

Trail users say they support the joint dispatch center but question the wisdom of locating it in an established recreational area.

"Aren't there plenty of empty buildings around town they could put it (the dispatch center) in?" asked Tallahassee resident Janine Callahan, who loves the thrilling and beautiful ride she says only the Gun Range Loop offers. "Just because it's green doesn't mean you have to chop it down."

Michelle Mansfield, manager of the East Tennessee Street location of Higher Ground Bike Shops, questions why county commissioners would want to destroy bike trails which are key to her business and that of the other four bike shops in town.

"People need places to ride the bikes we sell. Having trails means that we have business and our employees have jobs," she said.

This isn't the first time that the Gun Range Loop and Magnolia Trails have been under fire. In 2004, commissioners considered selling the 42 acres of the trail's land to a developer but defeated the motion by a 6-1 vote.

Although the trails have appeared to thousands of users as seamlessly integral parts of Tom Brown Park and are signed, managed, mapped and promoted by the Tallahassee Parks department, the land is owned by Leon County and never has been merged officially into the park.

Davis thinks that Tallahassee and Leon County should clarify matters and incorporate the trail's land, which he calls the "jewel of the system," into Tom Brown Park.

To build the dispatch center in the de facto area of Tom Brown Park and open the entire parcel that contains both the Gun Range Loop and Magnolia Trails to further potential development, commissioners will deliberate amending the Comprehensive Plan and changing the current land use designation of Recreation/Open Space to Government Operational.

A meeting to take public comment on this plan will be held at City Hall at 6 p.m. today. Call 891-8600 for details.

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Does anyone here use the trail? Anyone going to the meeting?

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I don't know how this has sat so long unnoticed. My sincere apologies fivesfella.

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Trash, they better not develop this,,

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I'm afraid they will. What a waste of tax dollars I think this would be.

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There is a meeting tonight concerning this: http://www.tallahassee.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a...GNEWS/711010380

Article published Nov 1, 2007

Tom Brown trails among issues to be heard tonight

By Bruce Ritchie

DEMOCRAT STAFF WRITER The Tallahassee City Commission and Leon County Commission tonight hold a joint public hearing to consider initial approval of proposed Comprehensive Plan changes.

Controversial proposals include changing the land-use designation on 42 acres at Tom Brown Park for a joint emergency services dispatch center. A compromise proposal would retain some of the Gun Range Loop bike trails on the site.

Other controversies include the proposed Black Horse Plantation development off Buck Lake Road and concerns about the "urban fringe" land-use category that encourage such developments. Planning Department proposals to allow six-story housing buildings along local streets around the universities and central urban area face opposition from the Council of Neighborhood Associations. CONA also is against a proposal to establish an "urban service boundary" within the city to exclude state oversight of Comp Plan changes.

The changes being considered tonight will go to the state for review. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the County Commission Chambers in the Leon County Courthouse, 301 S. Adams St.

For more information, call 891-8600

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There is a meeting tonight concerning this: http://www.tallahassee.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a...GNEWS/711010380

Article published Nov 1, 2007

Tom Brown trails among issues to be heard tonight

By Bruce Ritchie

DEMOCRAT STAFF WRITER The Tallahassee City Commission and Leon County Commission tonight hold a joint public hearing to consider initial approval of proposed Comprehensive Plan changes.

Controversial proposals include changing the land-use designation on 42 acres at Tom Brown Park for a joint emergency services dispatch center. A compromise proposal would retain some of the Gun Range Loop bike trails on the site.

Other controversies include the proposed Black Horse Plantation development off Buck Lake Road and concerns about the "urban fringe" land-use category that encourage such developments. Planning Department proposals to allow six-story housing buildings along local streets around the universities and central urban area face opposition from the Council of Neighborhood Associations. CONA also is against a proposal to establish an "urban service boundary" within the city to exclude state oversight of Comp Plan changes.

The changes being considered tonight will go to the state for review. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the County Commission Chambers in the Leon County Courthouse, 301 S. Adams St.

For more information, call 891-8600

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