Article Courtesy of The Pensacola
By Anne Delaney
Published April 16, 2017
group of Pace residents succeeded in their efforts to close off an entrance to
The Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners on Thursday approved a request by
residents of the Cross Roads subdivision to block off Berryhill Road and
During a lengthy
public session, several residents spoke about the issue, and
the majority were in favor of the closure. The 90-member
homeowners association has voted 76-14 in favor of closing
off the entrance.
Commissioners did not, however, approve a gate, which would
have only been accessible to emergency responders. Instead,
the commission opted for a guardrail to be installed by the
Director of Public Works Stephen Furman said the guardrail
will be 40 to 50 feet long and cost less than $2,000.
"We had a positive outcome," said Stratford Drive resident
Phil DeProtine, a board member of the Cross Roads Homeowners
Association. "It's not a gate, which is totally acceptable."
DeProtine and others advocated for the closure in the face
of increased traffic through the neighborhood. Residents
expressed concerns that the traffic will only increase as a
new Publix opens later this year on nearby Woodbine Road.
Russell Madison, a resident of Victory Drive in the Cross
Roads subdivision, was one of two residents who spoke
against the closure.
Pace resident Russell Madison expresses his opposition to
closing an entrance to the Cross Roads subdivision during a Santa Rosa
Board of County Commissioners meeting on Thursday, April 13, 2017.
said the HOA does not have a legal right to speak for the neighborhood's
residents. Madison said the issue for him is a matter of convenience.
like two ways in and two ways out," he said. "I never want to live somewhere
where there is one way in and one way out."
DeProtine responded by saying the HOA is not setting itself up as an official
"No one is required to be in the homeowners' association," DeProtine said. "We
District 1 Commissioner Sam Parker, who represents Pace, supported closing the
entrance. District 2 Commissioner Bob Cole took his support a step further,
saying the board should establish a policy to get ahead of similar requests in
Cole suggested future policies might require that an HOA be a bona fide
organization and that it take over control of the roads once the county
determines the roads are in good condition.
"If we don't set a board policy, then we're opening a Pandora's box," Cole said.
"I support this 100 percent. I want safe communities, but it is a public road
and how do we sit here and say we're going to close a public road?"