THE PEOPLE SPEAK

At City Council meetings over the past year and a half, there have been 23 resident presentations about the Doherty Drive Extension project. 21 were opposed to the project, with only 2 in favor. A summary of each presentation is included below.  All summaries were extracted verbatim from city records, the only exception being that names and addresses were removed in the interest of privacy. 

Click here if you would rather see an abbreviated top-level summary.

December 18, 2018

Person1 spoke on the proposal to extend Doherty Drive, a project that he and other residents are against. He said one concern was the flooding of the residential properties, particularly in the Preserves and residents along Sylvia Road. It was natural land which collects excess water. Once the road is built, the water will run off onto the residential properties. In addition, he spoke against the traffic that would use the roadway to get to Minton Road via Heritage Oaks Boulevard. The roads in the neighborhood were now used by children to go back and forth to school. He also stated that residents were not notified about the project and asked that they be notified when this type of issue comes before Council. Lastly, he stated the budget exceeded the revenue, which means that expenses are too high. By eliminating this project, the City's budget would be closer to meeting necessary expenses.

 

August 21, 2018

Person2 in Heritage Oaks, spoke in opposition to the Doherty Drive extension. The City's proposed budget includes this expenditure of $1,000,000 for a three quarter mile stretch of road. She questioned what the City would accomplish with this $1,000,000 expenditure. It would create more traffic with vehicles using the route as a cut through from Henry Avenue to Minton Road. This is occurring in the Timber Ridge development. She noted that her home was only 10 feet from the proposed right-of-way. The streets are where the children walk to and from school. By not building the road, the wildlife and trees would remain and it creates possibilities for a pathway or dog park. The concerns of having only a single entrance to the neighborhood are unfounded, especially with the West Melbourne Police Department so close. She believed there were better options than building the road.

 

September 4, 2018

Person3 spoke on the proposed extension of Doherty Drive to Heritage Oaks Boulevard. She stated that her property abuts the canal and she would be buffered from the new roadway. However, she was concerned with the existing traffic on Henry Avenue and creating another connection. The City was proposing to spend $1,000,000 for something that is not necessary. She did not believe the additional access to the Heritage Oaks development would alleviate any concerns. She asked that Council delay the construction of the road.

 

September 4, 2018

Person4 also spoke in opposition to the Doherty Drive extension. He believed the existing tree line and natural vegetation helped with the drainage for the area.

 

September 4, 2018

Person1 also spoke in opposition to the inclusion of the Doherty Drive extension in the budget. He believed this would be a dangerous route because of cars veering off the roadway and killing children. He also stated that more traffic creates more crime. He believed that multiple entrances to the Heritage Oaks neighborhood would increase the level of crime. Lastly, he commented that replacing the trees with concrete would increase the flooding the area. He asked that Council remove this item from the budget

 

September 18, 2018

Person5 stated she had lived in Heritage Oaks since it was first built and spoke in favor of the Doherty Drive extension. Because of new development, a second access was needed. She did not believe the roadway would be a hazard. She also thanked Council for providing school resource officers to the schools in West Melbourne. She added that it was an honorable thing and the parents were extremely grateful.

 

September 18, 2018

Person6 stated that her home was one of the first built in the Preserves. She spoke in favor of the Doherty Drive extension and thanked Council for their consideration.

 

September 18, 2018

Person7 spoke about the tax rates and stated that the residents pay too much. She stated the roads were a parking lot now and building the Doherty Drive extension would benefit only a few of the residents. She believed the money would be better spent on something that would benefit all the citizens.

 

September 18, 2018

Person4 spoke in opposition to the Doherty Drive extension. He did not believe it was necessary.

 

September 18, 2018

Person3 reminded Council she had spoken at the last meeting and wanted to speak again about the Doherty extension. Since then, she had talked with residents living on Sylvia Road as well as residents living in the Preserve. She stated she had purchased her home two years ago and knew about the canal but was not informed about the roadway. Disclosing information to the buyer was required by law, but she was not told about the road. She pulled disclosure information for other homes that have sold over the past few years and none of them indicated that there would be a road. She reviewed homeowner association documents which indicated that a "dedicated public right-of-way may be extended." She noted that "may" is not a guarantee. She asked Council to reconsider the extension of Doherty Drive. She knew that a traffic study had been conducted but believed it should be redone. She did not believe that spending these funds at this time was wise. Tax increases should not occur in order to complete capital projects.

September 18, 2018

Person8 stated she had sent a letter in August opposing the Doherty Drive extension. She was concerned about the additional traffic because others that do not live in the neighborhood would be using this route. She stated there was already a traffic problem on Henry Avenue, and other subdivisions have had issues with cut-through vehicles using neighborhoods streets. She was concerned about the safety of the children because many of them walk or bike to school. Children do not always watch where they are going. From an environmental aspect, there was a great deal of wildlife that should be saved. Many people walk along the canal and she felt it would be a better option to make it a walking path. Lastly, Person 8  spoke about the drainage concerns and that building the road would drain into their back yards.

 

December 18, 2018

Person1 spoke on the proposal to extend Doherty Drive, a project that he and other residents are against. He said one concern was the flooding of the residential properties, particularly in the Preserves and residents along Sylvia Road. It was natural land which collects excess water. Once the road is built, the water will run off onto the residential properties. In addition, he spoke against the traffic that would use the roadway to get to Minton Road via Heritage Oaks Boulevard. The roads in the neighborhood were now used by children to go back and forth to school. He also stated that residents were not notified about the project and asked that they be notified when this type of issue comes before Council. Lastly, he stated the budget exceeded the revenue, which means that expenses are too high. By eliminating this project, the City's budget would be closer to meeting necessary expenses.

 

December 18, 2018

Person9 said he has watched roads being developed and pondered what the purpose would be for this road. He stated that Henry Avenue was very busy and could be four lanes. He stated funneling traffic through a neighborhood was not a good idea. In addition, Botanica Circle had flooded and he believed the additional pavement would add to the problem. In addition, there were a lot of kids, bicycles, and elderly in the area. He asked that Council spend the money on something else, such as a walkway or bike path. He did not believe that Heritage Oaks needed to have a second access. He believed this would put a burden on the abutting residents.

 

December 18, 2018

Person10 spoke on her concerns with the flooding and the safety for students that use the streets. She noted that her property would back up to the proposed road. She stated that she had sat on several national boards and was concerned that reserve funding would be used for this year's budget, which usually caused future shortfalls. She did not believe that there were access issues. She stated traffic on Heritage Oaks Boulevard was already very bad and believed the extension would increase the traffic problems. She asked Council to reconsider the approval of the engineering task order.

 

December 18, 2018

Person1 stated that the Doherty Drive extension was an unpopular project. He believed the time to stop this project was now by not approving the engineering task order. He stated that no one spoke tonight in favor of the project. If approving the task order, he believed Council would not be representing the public. Therefore, he encouraged Council to not approve the task order. He believed the cost versus the benefit was an issue.

 

June 4, 2019

Person2 stated he loved the area because it was quiet and loved the trees. She said that she did read her covenants and it did say that the road “may” be built but did not indicate that it “should” be built. The road was originally proposed to provide a connection to Fell Road. The residents have changed and she did not believe the residents wanted the road. She also expressed concerns with the cost of the project. The road would bring issues with crime, speed, through traffic, and, most importantly, the safety of their children. She did not see a need for a second exit. She believed that the tax dollars could better serve the citizens of West Melbourne.

 

June 4, 2019

Person1 expressed his appreciation that City Council has listened to their concerns on the Heritage Oaks Boulevard/Doherty Drive extension project and hoped for a similar result as that which occurred in December where Council turned down the proposal. He believed there was a conflict because the engineering firm that completed the stormwater study would benefit by being awarded the task order for the engineering of the roadway. He explained that Person14 had assembled information that was neutral and did not include this conflict. He stated that safety, total cost of the project, and flooding risk was not known. He preferred that green space be maintained in the community. He stated that further information was located at www.delaydoherty.com.

 

June 4, 2019

Person11 stated that the cost was proposed to be $1.2 million, which he believed was high. The safety issues on Doherty Drive and Henry Avenue had not been addressed. He stated there was no logic to the proposal. Person11 also stated that he was in Houston and New Orleans when hurricanes hit and did not believe that this secondary egress would provide an appropriate emergency exit for residents.

 

June 4, 2019

Person12 thanked Council for working with the community. She stated that many of her questions about the road extension had been answered, but had concerns about the wildlife that would be disturbed and the mitigation. She said the larger trees are good for water absorption and, if disturbed, there could be unforeseen runoff issues. In addition, there was not enough room to make the turn at the proposed Heritage Oaks/Doherty Drive intersection for large vehicles.

 

June 4, 2019

Person9 appreciated the reports but believed the traffic study was confusing. He stated the real problem is that a right-turn lane is needed from Minton Road to Henry Avenue. He believed the intersection at Doherty and Henry would be too busy to alleviate any traffic. Henry Avenue needed to be wider. He also spoke on the wildlife in the right-of-way. He felt that this would put a burden on the Heritage Oaks residents.

 

 

June 4, 2019

Person13 stated he had been a resident for seven years and was one of the residents with the most to gain and the most to lose. He stated that the road construction would affect the property values. He knew of one potential buyer who had decided not to make an offer based on the possibility that the road would be constructed. He stated that had he heard about the possibility of a road being constructed, he may not have bought the home. He stated that the beauty of the neighborhood would be lost. The reason for the road was no longer needed and any benefit to the greater community is negligible. His preference was to keep the trees and the quiet neighborhood. He believed frustrated drivers on Minton Road and Henry Avenue would end up using this road.

 

June 4, 2019

Person1 appreciated Council taking the time to conduct the studies. He did not believe that the roadway would solve a problem as there was no problem defined. He stated that traffic on Minton Road could be solved by six-laning the roadway. He reminded Council that a number of people had spoken in opposition to the road. Residents had suggested the money be used for an alternate walking or bike path. He was concerned that the Council was not providing any other options. He believed Council should proceed with a proposal that would benefit most residents. In addition, he questioned if there was a conflict of interest by certain Council Members that reside in Heritage Oaks because they would personally save on mileage because of the construction of the road.

 

June 4, 2019

Person14 stated he had provided Council with a combination of materials that included presentations made to Council over the last year. Most of the information pertains to traffic measurements and addresses that Minton Road was at 86 percent of capacity in 2017 with a capacity that grows by 2 percent per year. He stated that the flooding concerns appeared to have been addressed, but was concerned with what would have happened if the road had been in place for the last hurricane. He explained that he was not concerned with the flooding in the yards, but where the water would go that would have been absorbed in the ground previously. Mr. Wilkison stated the water that would have been absorbed would be redirected. He noted that meetings with the St. Johns River Water Management District provided direction to allow for discharge to the canal, which was beneficial.

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