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New Archer Road Housing Development Raises Concerns

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A map showing the area of Lugano, a traditional neighborhood development on Archer Road. Courtesy of Alachua County Growth Management.
A map shows the Lugano site (outlined in red), a traditional neighborhood development on Archer Road that has some concerned about traffic and water quality. (Courtesy of Alachua County Growth Management)

A development company is scheduled to start building homes in Gainesville in about two months, and some citizens are concerned about the effects it will have on their property.

The Lugano development will bring 460 houses and up to 127,000 square feet of non-residential floor space to Archer Road. Residents in the area are concerned about the runoff from construction and stormwater basins that are planned for the property.

The plan, called a traditional neighborhood development, allows for residential and some commercial use on land intended for residential use, said Christine Bush, a planner for Alachua County Growth Management.

The development at 9304 SW Archer Road is being built by Gainesville-based Emmer Development Corporation.

According to Emmer President Lori McGriff, the neighborhood will include single and multi-family houses as well as amenities like jogging paths and fitness centers.

“The commercial use isn’t slated yet, but it could include offices or maybe a coffee shop,” McGriff said.

Lugano’s size prompted comments from citizens during Tuesday’s public hearing on the preliminary development plan.

Traffic was among the concerns because the site connects to the often-busy Archer Road. However, people were also concerned about the water quality of area wells because of possible runoff from the construction and stormwater.

Some residents near the development rely on wells rather than piped water from the city.

Influenced by the water war in Flint, Michigan, people around the country continue to be concerned about contaminated water.

Anthony Dennis, environmental health director for the Alachua County Health Department, said that there are several codes and regulations in place to prevent runoff from getting into personal wells.

The Alachua County Health Department works closely with the Suwannee River and St. John’s River Water Management Districts to regulate and enforce water quality concerns to maintain consumer safety, Dennis said.

Plans and sketches for Lugano are available online.

About Lucas Wilson

Lucas is a reporter who can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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