County Road 393S will soon be a lot busier as Walton County Board of County Commissioners approved the final request for development of Fox Lake residential subdivision earlier this month.
The development first went before the BCC last year as a larger proposal. The density was reduced by 204 units and is now considered a low-density residential development.
The project presented to the BCC now has the benefit of increased lot sizes so homes with between 3,400 and 5,000 square feet can be built.
Retention ponds have been introduced so residents can have lake and lake-view lots, a community park and trail systems, as well as children's playgrounds.
There will be 79 single-family lots offering upscale amenities.
Before approval, however, there was much discussion of safety as the subdivision will have to share the one road out with four existing subdivisions.
District 4 Commissioner Sara Comander said she is desperately concerned about another entrance. She encouraged developers to continue working to obtain another southern access and questioned if there is a way to put another road in through the cemetery.
However, District 1 Commissioner Bill Chapman told her that the folks in the cemetery need to rest in peace.
The developers said they have worked closely with Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club for the past two years for an access agreement with Santa Rosa Beach Golf Club for an 18-foot-wide single cart crossing. Developers will install a split-rail fence, traffic signs, a median and caution light. Installation of infrastructure is estimated to take eight months.
Fox Lake's only road access will be through Santa Rosa Ridge off 393S.
Santa Rosa Ridge was platted in the 1970s and now has 129 lots. With the addition of Fox Lake's 79 lots, and Ridgewalk under construction across the road adding 74, resident Mary Nielson is concerned that all those properties will converge at the same spot attempting to get out onto County Road 393.
"We have elderly, young families with babies, and no sidewalks," said Nielson.
Resident Tom Schnapp also expressed concerns that the secondary road proposed at Bunker Place is not wide enough and it will be utilized by Fox Lake.
"I have safety concerns," he said. "Too many cars on too narrow a road that dumps out onto Allen Loop. If you are going to have a secondary road, limit it to golf carts."
However, resident Bob Hudson took a different position with commissioners.
"I don't necessarily want it, but I am a realist. So I want sidewalks and Leyland cypress and asphalt to go in first," he said. "A flashing light costs $40,000 to install. I don't care what the traffic reports say. We should be proactive. I sat out next to 393 on July 4 with a radar gun and the average speed on July 4 was 53mph."
Public Works Engineer Chance Powell said that is a 60-foot right-of-way and would require a survey and design to make sure the county is not creating stormwater issues. The process will take two or three months to design.
The cost for the sidewalk he estimates to be $65,000 and installation would be at least a nine-month process.
Powell estimated the cost of a caution light at Ridge to be $20,000.
The project passed 3-1. Comander was the dissenting vote due to only one road in and out.