Author Topic: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?  (Read 40223 times)

reednavy

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Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
« Reply #30 on: October 03, 2009, 06:07:04 PM »
Instead of a Nat'l park, set aside some of the land for a tropical gardens and arboretum.
Jacksonville: We're not vertically challenged, just horizontally gifted!

stjr

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Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
« Reply #31 on: July 02, 2010, 12:44:45 AM »
Given recent area events further depreciating our area's natural environment, this idea bears a repeat review.

"The National Parks, America's Best Idea", a 6 part Ken Burns documentary starting tomorrow night at 8 PM on PBS and continuing through Friday night, promises to greatly boost American's appreciation of our national (and, hopefully, our state and local) parks and monuments.

Having visited some of our great western parks, such as Yosemite and Yellowstone, it's too bad more of the eastern U.S. hasn't been equally well preserved.  I am thinking that aside from the Everglades and the Smoky Mountains/Shenandoah Valley, we don't have nearly the expansive public lands preserved that the west has.

Locally, I think it would be great if someone would approach the Davis family about purchasing/donating their remaining tens of thousands of acres of their Dee Dot ranch and Nocatee properties for a really special preservation of what's left of historic and natural "old" Florida.  Combined with the Timucuan preserve, Jacksonville could have its own version of the "Yellowstone of the East"  which would also serve as a great tourist draw.  For the Davis Family, it would become an indelible legacy left for Florida and Jacksonville that would be remembered and appreciated far beyond their family businesses such as Winn-Dixie, American Heritage, Nocatee, and Pablo Creek.

For what it's worth, the Rockefeller Family did much to boost many of our national parks including buying up some 200,000 plus acres which they donated to the U.S. to create the Grand Teton National Park.  They also created St. John, Virgin Islands, National Park.  Several National Parks have tributes to them.


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James Ellsworth "J.E." Davis, one of the four brothers who founded Winn-Dixie and the one who emerged as the family leader, focused on accumulating property -- 51,000 acres of which is known as the Dee Dot Ranch in southeastern Duval County and northeastern St. Johns County. But his descendants appear to be divesting themselves of those holdings.

From: http://jacksonville.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/stories/1999/07/19/story3.html

Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

CW

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Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
« Reply #32 on: November 05, 2018, 11:10:17 AM »
Old Florida.  As a native Floridian, who's family line goes all the way back to the first Seminole War, we have decided over many years of Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas meals, that the real problem with Florida started with the invention of the affordable room air conditioner.  You want FLA to be the largest National Park in the land?  outlaw AC.

Florida Power And Light

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Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
« Reply #33 on: February 06, 2019, 08:48:00 AM »
Even in the face of championing National Parks the National Forest lands often adjacent to National Park boundary are hardly noted.

In Northeast Florida "Pine Plantations",'Working Lands',Agriculture and Ranch are the key reasons these lands remain undeveloped today.

One "Sector Plan" after another accommodating future development vesting we see promotions of lands "Preserved" which basically equates to preserving the preserved-vast wetland belts. Dryer lands,uplands rare and a key component of natural landscape function and 'value'.

National Park implementation is a curious rambling conversation,the real need in the Jacksonville area is to pursue the Ocala National Forest to Osceola National Forest Corridor ('O2O'),Northeast Florida Timberland Reserve and a host of other projects and elements.

The pause in Florida's environmental land purchase and management program has been definitive in lost opportunity- I suggest these matters take precedence over aspirations for National Park lands expansion.

And monitor regional and county land use plans for substantial deviations altering elements of existing Ag and Conservation.
Most citizens would be amazed that the visual landscape we see now might not what be what you get,or perhaps even sold on,future growth vested yet not yet progressing to bulldozer on site.
I was one of the first to be alerted to Nocatee years ago before the name of the development was unveiled; noted a curious future projection proposal for St Augustine Road extension.

jaxlongtimer

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Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
« Reply #34 on: April 11, 2023, 11:59:22 AM »
Sadly, it looks like the Davis family has other ideas for their land, mainly more urban sprawl.  A true lost opportunity to preserve one of the last pieces of old Florida in Duval County and leave an eternal legacy to their family...
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Family that founded Winn-Dixie plans 10,000 homes for fast-growing area in Jacksonville

A major development in Southeast Jacksonville passed its first set of regulatory hurdles in gaining approval from the Jacksonville City Council, but will ultimately take about 25 years to complete.

The project could potentially bring over 10,000 housing units to the area as well as commercial spaces and plots for conservation.

“This is the way planning ought to be done instead of piece by piece,” said Paul Harden, the development’s applicant, during a recent Land Use and Zoning meeting.

The property belongs to Big Creek Timber, a company owned by the Davis family, which founded the Winn-Dixie grocery store chain....

https://www.jacksonville.com/story/business/real-estate/government/2023/04/11/jacksonville-city-council-approves-major-davis-family-development-in-southeast-jacksonville/69978441007/

Captain Zissou

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Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
« Reply #35 on: April 11, 2023, 12:55:35 PM »
Sadly, it looks like the Davis family has other ideas for their land, mainly more urban sprawl.  A true lost opportunity to preserve one of the last pieces of old Florida in Duval County and leave an eternal legacy to their family...

I can't read the article due to the paywall, but believe it or not this is only a fraction of their property.  I hope they preserve a few thousand acres by donating it to the North Florida Land Trust.

jaxlongtimer

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Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
« Reply #36 on: April 11, 2023, 02:06:53 PM »
^ My understanding is they started with about 50,000 acres.  I believe Nocatee is about 15,000.  Not sure how much E-Town is but this new section is about 6,000 acres.  Would assume E-town is at least half of that.  Assume they sold/donated at least 1,000 acres for Mayo, Pablo Creek, the Allstate campus, 9B, JTB, etc.  So, by my math, I figure they have, at very most, 25,000 acres left.  Much smaller than that, and it may be hard to justify a major preserve, although anything is better than nothing  8).

WarDamJagFan

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Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
« Reply #37 on: April 11, 2023, 02:12:58 PM »
Sadly, it looks like the Davis family has other ideas for their land, mainly more urban sprawl.  A true lost opportunity to preserve one of the last pieces of old Florida in Duval County and leave an eternal legacy to their family...

I can't read the article due to the paywall, but believe it or not this is only a fraction of their property.  I hope they preserve a few thousand acres by donating it to the North Florida Land Trust.

It would be really nice to have more than one Durbin Creek Reserve south of Downtown

Florida Power And Light

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Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
« Reply #38 on: June 24, 2023, 08:37:27 PM »
Skip park.Too Late.
Davis Family Lands needs to finally agree that a Giant Landfill be located on Davis Lands. Crazy to assume a far southwestern Duval County Landfill facility is the only facility.
The Florida Wildlife Federation spent $100,000 years ago to “ protect” Davis Lands from a Southeast Landfill.
We ended up with Nocatee.
Current discussions, “ Protected” lands visions are largely hilarious.

« Last Edit: June 24, 2023, 08:41:51 PM by Florida Power And Light »

marcuscnelson

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Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
« Reply #39 on: June 07, 2024, 12:29:44 AM »
Looks like this idea is running out of potential. Another 11,000 acres now slated for suburbanization.

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/news/2024/jun/06/planning-commission-votes-to-recommend-rezoning-and-site-plan-for-davis-family-development/

Strikes me as a real shame that while the urban core is desperate for infill, incentivizing it to the tune of hundreds of millions, tens of thousands of acres are being unanimously approved to become suburbs we will one day need to spend much more rebuilding infrastructure for with much less density to make up for it. Better yet, we will almost certainly be paying hundreds of millions up front to construct new highways to fill with traffic and then ask to widen. And then wonder where all the money has gone.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

jaxlongtimer

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Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
« Reply #40 on: June 07, 2024, 12:47:47 AM »
^ Very sad to see. 

The Planning Commission is a total joke.  They approve virtually everything that comes along.  It is typically a bunch of "volunteers," mostly from the development community (appraisers, surveyors, contractors, consultants, developers, investors, etc.) and it mainly acts as a supporting crutch for the City Council members who also are in the tight grasps of developers.  In other words, the City Council says if the Planning Commission approves, it must be OK for us to approve.  There is no value add to the Planning Commission other than for that reason.

Traditionally, the Planning Department hasn't been much better.  They, too, have found ways to rubber stamp almost any developer request with minor tweaks, feigning that they did a rigorous review.  Hoping Deegan's administration supports them finally doing the job taxpayers are paying them to do.

Add that since the Delaney years, no mayor has moved to preserve significant undeveloped land for future generations, or made much effort to support resiliency.  A lot of modern development is on marginal land at the edge of wetlands so when the waters rise, these newer areas will be the first to flood.

Bottom line, planning in Duval County has been an almost a nonexistent function whether it relates to urban sprawl, transportation, land uses, historic preservation, etc.

To add to your comment, Marcus, I did post the below calculation and prediction last year on this thread. Subtract the new 11,000 acres and we are looking at maybe 14,000 acres remaining, on a good day.

^ My understanding is they started with about 50,000 acres.  I believe Nocatee is about 15,000.  Not sure how much E-Town is but this new section is about 6,000 acres.  Would assume E-town is at least half of that.  Assume they sold/donated at least 1,000 acres for Mayo, Pablo Creek, the Allstate campus, 9B, JTB, etc.  So, by my math, I figure they have, at very most, 25,000 acres left.  Much smaller than that, and it may be hard to justify a major preserve, although anything is better than nothing  8).

jaxlongtimer

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Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
« Reply #41 on: July 10, 2024, 09:58:01 PM »
I don't recall hearing about this but it is encouraging to read now in Mark Wood's column this week highlighting his 10 most favorite preserved lands in Duval County. Maybe the Davis family that owns nearby lands will take a cue and add to this legacy:
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The Hodges Tract
While the land north of Butler Boulevard has exploded with growth, there still are thousands of acres of undeveloped land to the south.

I hear it’s beautiful. I’ve never been on that land. Not many Jacksonville’s residents have. But that should change in the future.

The Trust for Public Land completed a deal in 2000 with George Hodges to acquire about 1,500 acres of his family’s land. The St. Johns Water Management District, city and state shared the $28 million cost. The agreement basically said that the property remained privately owned until after the death of Hodges and his wife, Kernan. He died in 2019. She died in 2022.

https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/columns/mark-woods/2024/07/10/10-favorite-jacksonville-preservation-project-sites/74327251007/