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Residents Near Cascades Park Upset with City Plans

Residents Near Cascades Park Upset with City Plans
Posted at 6:00 PM, Oct 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-27 15:34:26-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- Those who live in Myers Park and Woodland Drives said they are frustrated after commissioners shut down a plan to build a sound wall by Cascades Park.

City commissioners voted to cancel plans to build the wall, which would've been 30 feet tall and more than 300 feet wide.

The Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency approved nearly half a million dollars to pay for it, but commissioners voted 4 to 1 Tuesday to squash those plans.

Residents said the sounds of the nearby amphitheater take over Cascades Park and the neighborhoods.

"We have a faulty speaker system that just shoots sound directly up the hill towards us," said Valerie Conner, a Myers Park resident since 1978. She said she can hear events from the park more often than she'd like.

"This area -- you're standing in the cone, and this is where the sound comes because of topography and technology," she said. 

The sounds also have affected nearby Woodland Drives.

Mary Frederick, a Woodland Drives resident said, "I'm not sure if the commissioners understand about the noise issues and how young families are dealing with this."

Sound isn't the only concern. Neighbors said they're worried about development, including how the headquarters of the city's parks and recreation office on Myers Park Drive will be affected.

"That is our community center, but it serves the whole city," Conner said, "so to lose that for a development that is essentially unnecessary is really disturbing."

City officials said that the wall wasn't the best solution to dealing with sound issues and that it didn't fit in with the neighborhoods.

"There's been a lot of interest in the property for residential development for the future, by putting people who'd love to be a part of the downtown experience and to basically let those folks become the buffer for the neighborhood folks," said assistant city manager Wayne Tedder. 

The city plans to develop the 9-acre property for housing and other uses concerning neighbors.

Tedder said any development plans for the Myers Park property will need to be approved by the Architecture Review Board to ensure it fits in with the neighborhoods.

Officials say it could take months for projects to start.