City of Tallahassee Utilities
Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency

Frequently Asked Questions

Lake Jackson is a designated Outstanding Florida Water (OFW) and has been classified as being impaired due to water quality issues. The Market District watershed discharges to Lake Jackson. This stormwater retrofit project will significantly reduce nutrient loading from the watershed and improve water quality discharges to Lake Jackson through the implementation of advanced water quality treatment technologies and improved stormwater practices. The existing stormwater facilities were built in 1980 when water quality treatment standards were less protective and treatment mechanisms were not nearly as efficient as the Best Management Practices (BMPs) implement today. The existing ponds are traditional stormwater facilities that focused primarily on flood control.

In 2011, the City Commission adopted the “Market District Action Plan” with a vision of fostering a unique sense of place in the district. One of the goals of the action plan is to “reclaim or create new public spaces,” and it identifies several objectives. These include providing family-friendly activities, jogging trails, exercise opportunities, a tot lot playground; promoting outdoor business activities, sidewalk sales and business expansions; and creating outdoor venues for special events or leisure.

During development of the Market District Action Plan, repurposing of the existing stormwater ponds in the center of the Market District was identified as a top priority of citizens and business owners.

The Market District project is also a top priority project for the Blueprint 2020 program (tied for #1 priority Community Enhancement, Connectivity, and Quality of Life project as ranked by the IA Board at the September 19, 2017 meeting). The proposed FY 2021 allocation of $2,126,846 will fund design for the public space component of this placemaking project, as well as design of the Maclay Road sidewalk and traffic analysis studies at selected intersections within Market District. Blueprint is currently coordinating with the City regarding the public space component of this placemaking project to align the design and construction activities with the completion of the City’s Market District Multi-Purpose Stormwater project.

At the June 2012 workshop on the Sales Tax Extension, agenda materials for the “Market District Activity Center” identified improvements to be implemented by the City, which included the reconfiguration of stormwater management facilities as public amenities and the construction of sidewalks on Maclay Boulevard and Maclay Commerce Drive.

In consideration of the Market District Action Plan goals, a large multi-purpose stormwater project will help jump start the Commission’s Market District Sense of Place efforts. The stormwater project will address water quality issues in Lake Jackson and create a canvas for the development of an urban park that incorporates many of the Action Plan objectives.

The multi-purpose stormwater project will include retrofitting the East and West Stormwater Facilities to improve water quality treatment and aesthetics, relocating the electric transmission lines to the north side of Maclay Commerce Drive, improving Maclay Boulevard (from Maclay Commerce Drive to Mosswood Chase) and Maclay Commerce Drive (from Martin Hurst Road to Financial Plaza Drive) and improving the intersection of Maclay Boulevard and Maclay Commerce Drive.

Construction of this type can be disruptive at times, but the City will do everything possible to minimize inconveniences. Traffic detours, when needed, will be clearly marked, and vehicular access to homes and businesses will be maintained at all times. Construction hours will normally begin after sunrise and end prior to sunset, with no construction allowed on Sundays.

The infrastructure improvements will be constructed in three phases. Phase I is complete and consisted of filling in the Central Stormwater Facility and a portion of the East Stormwater Facility and expanding the West Stormwater Facility to make way for relocation of the electric transmission lines to the north side of Maclay Commerce Drive.

Design of Phase II is underway and consists of retrofitting and reconfiguring the West Stormwater Facility.

Phase III is the largest phase and will consist of retrofitting the East Stormwater Facility, including landscaping and beautification elements, and improving Maclay Commerce Drive and Maclay Road.

Following outreach to citizens and incorporating that feedback into the final design, it is expected that construction of Phase II will begin in the first half of 2021 and last 12-18 months.

Design and public input for Phase III will begin in summer 2020. Construction should be complete by the end of 2022.

infrastructure timeline

The public area between the electrical substation and Maclay Boulevard has been filled in and re-graded. Phase III will include additional work in this area to provide a blank canvas for the future Park. Potential amenities include a tot lot, splash pad, open spaces for gathering, a pavilion and an outdoor market. Citizen input will be used to draft the vision for the park. The Park will be one of the projects funded by the 2020 Blueprint Sales Tax Extension.

The Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency is the local governmental agency that is tasked with building the Market District Park. The Market District Park is one phase of the greater Blueprint Market District Placemaking project. The Market District Multi-Purpose Stormwater Project includes the stormwater components of the Market District Park as well as some adjacent road improvements. Both projects build from the Sense of Place Plan. Blueprint is working collaboratively with the City on the Park project as many of the components will need to be planned, designed, and possibly constructed together.

park timeline

Multiple public meetings will be held during the design of Phases II and III and the Park. During the Coronavirus pandemic, these will be online events of various types and presentations of project information and concepts as they are developed. Interested parties can ask questions and provide input about the Stormwater Project and the Park. Meeting details will be posted on this site and mailed to area residents and businesses closer to the events.

City and Blueprint staff are also available to discuss the project at your convenience. For questions or to receive more information about the multi-purpose stormwater project please contact Jason Smith, P.E., City of Tallahassee, Underground Utilities and Public Infrastructure, at 850-891-6860 or jason.smith@talgov.com . For questions or to receive more information about the park please contact Sue Tanski, Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency, at 850-219-1071 or Susan.Tanski@BlueprintIA.org.

The following are questions that we’ve heard during our community engagement meetings so far. Check back here for answers to commonly asked questions.

Please contact Sue Tanski, Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency, at 850-219-1071 or Susan.Tanski@BlueprintIA.org to share your ideas about the future park area. All ideas are appreciated.

There will be many opportunities to get involved in the project, including attending virtual community engagement meetings and events, participating in surveys, and reviewing project materials and presentations on this website. See our Community Engagement Schedule for upcoming workshop dates.

Don’t worry if you missed the online meetings. We have recorded the presentation and you can download and view it here. If you would like more information or have input or questions about the park, please contact Sue Tanski, Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency, at 850-219-1071 or Susan.Tanski@BlueprintIA.org. If you would like more information or have input or questions about stormwater, please contact Jason Smith, P.E., City of Tallahassee, Underground Utilities and Public Infrastructure, at 850-891-6860 or jason.smith@talgov.com.

All are welcome to visit and utilize the City’s parks during normal hours of operation which is typically sunrise to sunset. The Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Affairs Department, PRNA, expects visitors to abide by the Park Rules as codified by the City’s Park ordinance. Visitors are expected to conduct themselves accordingly, and any violation of these rules or illegal activity that occurs will be addressed as appropriate either by staff or by the police department. PRNA always appreciates Citizens and Park users bringing any issues to their attention.

The City of Tallahassee will soon be finishing preliminary engineering for the roadway infrastructure improvements within the Market District project limits. As a part of the preliminary engineering, a traffic study was prepared by our consultant that includes traffic projections for design years 2024 and 2035. These projections utilize site specific growth rates to estimate both traffic and pedestrian needs. Based on these projections, five (5) intersection alternative scenarios were analyzed and documented in the traffic study. For future growth, the preferred alternative includes roundabouts for the intersection of Maclay Commerce Boulevard/Maclay Boulevard and for the intersection of Maclay Commerce Boulevard/Martin Hurst Road.

The City’s design team will coordinate with StarMetro during final design of the roadway improvements and relocate the bus stop based on their StarMetro’s specifications and recommendation.

No. The park is open to the public free of charge.

Dawn to Dusk is typical. However, if the park is lit, it may be a 24/7 facility, similar to Cascades Park.

Yes. Pets are allowed at the park and must properly restrained on a leash in accordance city ordinances.

Yes, and there will be an ADA accessible restroom.

Not at the present time, although there are connections shown in the Greenways Master Plan.

Funding for the Stormwater elements is provided by the stormwater fee, Blueprint sales tax revenue reserved for City water quality projects and a grant from the U.S. EPA. Funding for roadway improvements… Funding for the park element for the project is provided by the Blueprint 2000 sales tax program, a local option one cent sales tax approved by the voters of Leon County, Florida to fund local infrastructure improvements. Some of Leon County’s signature, award-winning building projects, including Cascades Park, FAMU Way, and the Capital Cascades Trail, have all been funded by the “Leon Penny” Blueprint 2000 program.

City of Tallahassee Parks and Recreation Department will maintain the park and trails after construction.

Visit the City of Tallahassee’s Website to find out more about Parks and Trails or download the TallyParks App. The TallyParks App allows you to search for a trail by trail marker, scan QR codes on trails to find your location and browse amenity lists for the parks and trails of Tallahassee. You can download the Tally Parks App for your mobile device or visit http://www.trailahassee.com/TallyParks.

example of a QR code