Lakewood Ranch District 6 wants to stop 'gate cut' at Balmoral Woods Boulevard

dgraham@bradenton.comMarch 19, 2013 

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Heavy cut-through traffic using Balmoral Woods Boulevard is making Community Development District 6, serving Country Club West, more determined to limit access there. District 6 supervisors meet 2:30 p.m. today with supervisors from Districts 2 and 5 to discuss the issue,

Districts 2 and 5 serve Country Club and Edgewater villages.

District 6 supervisors discussed their options at a workshop session Monday, where both board and staff members presented traffic studies and feedback from residents. Members of the District 6 board said they want to replace the guard, who is on duty 6:30 a.m. -- 10:30 p.m., and allow 24-hour access only to residents who have transponders. Transponders, a kind of remote control, allow residents to electronically open and close gates.

District 6 has a gate cut-through problem because Neal Communities built Balmoral Woods Boulevard gate after the land around it was already developed, said District 6 and Inter-District Authority supervisor Richard Williams.

"More people are coming in our gate than it is designed for," Williams said.

Currently Legacy Gate, located where Legacy Boulevard intersects with University Parkway, is

the only public access entrance for both Districts 2 and 5. Closing Balmoral Woods will add traffic to Legacy and make it the only public access for District 6 as well.

Since public bond money was used to build the subdivision roads, public access remains part of the requirements.

While the guard at the Legacy gate may make note of license plate numbers and other identifying information, access is public and cannot be restricted to just homeowners.

"If we close our gate, three of us will share" Legacy Gate, Williams said.

"The majority of the roads located in the district are owned by the district, and the district is a public entity, hence they are public roads, said attorney Andy Cohen, district counsel for districts 2, 4, 5 and 6. "It just so happens that those roads were funded by bonds as well utilizing tax exempt financing, but that's not always the determining factor. It's a public roadway regardless how its financed."

Since Legacy Gate is located in District 2 and it currently provides the only public access to District 5, both of those neighborhoods share funding for the entrance. That's why today's meeting is scheduled to allow the three districts to discuss cost sharing and related issues should District 6 vote to shut down its guard shack.

"There will be some cost sharing that District 6 will have to pay. As far as I know it's just their decision to make," said Marty Cohn, District 5 superintendent. "I don't use the gate so it has no impact on me personally. What it will do is increase the road wear on Legacy and I'm sure they will have to get involved with that also because they're forcing all their contractors to come through there and District 6 will have to pay for it."

Dee Graham, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-748-0411, ext. 7027, or tweet DeeGrahamBH.

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