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Development Review Committee unanimously votes to recommend approval of Project Mango

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 12:29 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Development Review Committee has voted unanimously to recommend the approval of the Type C site and development plan for the Leon County Fulfillment Center, also known as “Project Mango.”

Project Mango is a Type “C” Site and Development; review for Type C developments requires at least three public meetings/hearings.

The first was the Application Review Meeting held on May 26, and then came Wednesday’s DRC meeting. Next, the Leon County Board of County Commissioners will have to meet to discuss the project. The next BOCC meeting is scheduled for July; however, it’s unclear at this point whether Project Mango will be on the agenda.

The construction of Project Mango does not require any rezoning; the property has been zoned as a “high-intensity activity center” since 2012.

A couple of residents had questions in person at the meeting; almost 15 people spoke against the project virtually during public comment, using terms including “shroud of secrecy” and “alarming.” Public comment lasted less than an hour.

“The other issue that we’d like you to please keep in mind and keep under consideration is stormwater,” said one Lafayette Estates resident. “How are we going to move traffic, 1200 employees, in and out of Thornton Road? It’s already dangerous.”

“It is going to affect our property values. It’s going to affect our type of living,” said one local realtor, who also lives in the area.

“I am very concerned about the impact that this development is going to have both on the neighborhood and on the greenway,” said Ann Bidlingmaier. “I don’t understand why it has been kept under wraps so far, and it seems to be a given that this will be approved. And I think a lot more thought and planning should go into the impact this development is going to have.”

As of June 16th, there are almost 700 signatures against the project on Change.org.

Following public comment at Wednesday’s meeting, the committee heard from each staffing department on environmental management, the buffers on the property and traffic controls.

The applicant for Project Mango has chosen to set aside more natural area than is required, just over 25%.

In conversations about traffic, the applicant described “peak season” as the “fourth quarter of the year,” citing a traffic study conducted regarding the development. There has also been a sound study and photometric study, which looks at the impact of lights, done in connection to Project Mango.

“We were happy and supportive that they’re doing the right thing in terms of lighting,” a county staffer said at the meeting. “There will not be light spilled from the property. It’s going to be directed down to the parking area for the safety of employees and also the site itself.”

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