ALACHUA ‒ The Alachua City Commission voted 5-0 to approve Ordinance 23-04, amending the City’s Land Development Regulations (LDRs) to increase options for buffering and distancing of warehouse and freight movement uses. The move, sought by Abbfortis Strategies, LLC, amends section 4.3.4(L) of the LDRs, which regulates the development of lands used for parcel services, truck or freight terminals, or distribution and warehouse storage.
The reduction in separation distances could only be permitted when an intervening arterial or collector street exists between the proposed warehouse and freight movement use and school, daycare center, residential use, or vacant land in a residential district.
The revision reduces the minimum separation from 250 feet to 100 feet where an arterial or collector street exists between uses. The separation could be as low as 50 feet when both a street between uses exists and an enhanced landscape buffer is provided. Where there is no collector or arterial street between the uses, an applicant proposing a warehouse or freight movement use could only seek a reduction to 100 feet, and only when an enhanced landscape buffer is provided.
In no event would the proposed use be permitted closer than 150 feet from the nearest exterior wall of an existing residential dwelling. While the prior standard required a minimum of 250 feet between warehouses or freight movement uses and any schools, day care centers, residential uses, or vacant land in residential districts, the applicant was only required to install one canopy tree every 25 feet and one understory tree every 40 feet as landscape buffering.
The new standard would require twice the density of canopy and understory trees if the proposed site is granted reduced separation standards. The applicant seeking the reductions is not guaranteed that the request will be granted as the amendment merely increases the options that the City may implement as deemed appropriate based on site-specific conditions, adjacent uses, and input from neighbors.
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