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"A society built on green design, sustainable energy and closed loop systems, a civilization afloat on a cloud of efficient, non-toxic, recyclable technology." ~~Alex Nikolai Steffan

11.28.2008

YEEHAW JUNCTION GOES GREEN?

trackingThe press release said:

The ecosustainable community of Destiny in Florida will open the first green E-station in the state at the southeast corner of 441 and State Road 60 in southern Osceola County.
For Green Readers who have lived in Florida a few years, the word Destiny causes one to pause, as one of those made up names that have emerged post-Disney. Where is Destiny and what is the story behind it? More on the E-station at the end.

According to a 2006 article in the St. Petersburg Times, a man named Anthony Pugliese III bought the largest piece of undeveloped piece of property in Florida since Disney. Located in southern Osceola County, the 27,400 acres of pasture land is better known to us as Yeehaw Junction (population 32,000).

Most travelers know Yeehaw Junction as a quaint sign along Florida's Turnpike. Before the Turnpike, the intersection of the north/south Highway 441 and State Road 60 was an important gas stop on travels across the central part of Florida, located 60 miles south of Orlando and 30 miles from Vero Beach on the east coast.

Yeehaw Junction was also famous for its Civil War battle in 1864, for possession of the strategic 'Yeehaw Junction Corridor.' Evidently the Confederate victory enabled an important pipeline for supplies. More recently, the Yeehaw Junction Festival and Fiddle Championship (January 22 - 25 2009) is held annually on the grounds of the 'historic Desert Inn.'

Back to Mr. Pugliese who, along with Subway founder, Fred DeLuca, invested $137 million for the acreage last year and Destiny (larger than the size of Disney's Reedy Creek District) was born. Charles Lee, Director of Advocacy for Audobon of Florida said this development "pries open the interior of Florida like a can-opener."

Over the next few decades, the plan is to create a self-contained city of 100,000, not unlike Celebration. Mr. Pugliese was quoted in the St. Petersburg Times article as describing Destiny as "part New Urbanism and New Ruralism. It's really like pre-1940's living." [Does that mean without the air conditioning?]

In 2006, the law firm Greenberg Traurig of Miami lobbied on behalf of Destiny for an exemption from certain permitting regulations for properties greater than 25,000 acres. Although not successful, they did get a rewording of the rural land stewardship program.

The developers and Orlando consultant, Robert Whidden, head of Destiny's development team, say that environmental groups will be invited to participate in the planning of the area which is bigger than the City of Clearwater, of which 1/2 is proposed to be left as open space. Build-out could take up to 40 years. For more on Destiny, it has a web site.

So, that brings up to the refueling station that was announced last week, as being in the "final design stage" to be located at the southeastern corner of US 441 and State Road 60. [we assume with access from exit 193 on the Florida Turnpike.]

It will have five gasoline and alternative fuel stations along with diesel, electric automobile charging stations and a solar and geothermal-powered green-mart convenience store.

The final fuel mix will include E85, soy-or animal fat-based biodiesel, compressed natural gas, liquid hydrogen fuels and plug-in charging stations for electric or hybrid vehicles.

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