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What does the future hold for Alachua County, Florida?
Here’s a David and Goliath fight about a group of citizens in Alachua County Florida going up against the biggest landowner in the United States. Alachua County is home to the University of Florida (go Gators) and numerous world class health care facilities and related businesses. Its charm is enhanced by a mix of forests and water, sprinkled with quaint communities, including Gainesville, famous for its tree-lined streets.
It is also home to Plum Creek, about 65,000 acres of completely undeveloped land on the eastern side of the county. Plum Creek’s owner, the nation’s biggest landholding corporation, wants to develop parts of it.
This story pits the public good against maximizing corporate shareholder value and property rights. It tells the tale of how diverse and well organized citizens scramble to protect their community and quality of life. Alachua County’s entire future is at stake.
Maybe you’ve seen this play out in your community? It’s the story of how big development happens in Florida.
Plum Pudding podcast episode 1
Off to Alachua County to witness a classic Florida fight: developer vs. citizens.
Plum Pudding podcast episode 2
Alachua County Commissioner Mike Byerly explains how and why the county’s blueprint for growth — its comprehensive plan — is supposed to balance the common good with growth. What exactly is that elusive, beautiful thing, the “common good”?
Plum Pudding podcast episode 3
Plum Creek makes its move to change the county’s plan to allow massive development on its vast wetlands and forests. It rolls out a charm offensive to sell it. “Heads I win, tails you lose.”
See: Plum Creek Wetlands map
Plum Pudding podcast episode 4
Isn’t “wetlands” another word for “swamp”? Why should we care about swamps?
Plum Pudding podcast episode 5
There’s more than one way to skin a cat. Plum Creek does an end run around Alachua County by seeking to annex into tiny Hawthorne.
Plum Pudding podcast episode 6
It’s down to the wire for Alachua County’s future. Sprawl vs. nature? How would you vote?