GREEN COVE SPRINGS- While working towards setting policy at the County Administration Building during her current term, District 5 County Commissioner Kristen Burke is already gearing up for another …
GREEN COVE SPRINGS- While working towards setting policy at the County Administration Building during her current term, District 5 County Commissioner Kristen Burke is already gearing up for another bid for office.
Burke, who recently announced a re-election bid, said slowing down development to let infrastructure catch up is her top priority and will be her primary issue on the campaign trail.
“We need to conserve green areas, and we need to conserve our wetlands. We need to allow our infrastructure to catch up. ‘Why didn’t the county approve all of the infrastructure plans before approving all of the construction (of residential homes)?’ is a question I hear from my (constituents) daily,” she said.
Burke proposed the approval of a moratorium to not allow increased density in any of the new developments in the Lake Asbury Master Plan in 2021 to block any developer from increasing residential densities until 2022. The BCC voted last February to extend the moratorium for another year. The measure was twice approved unanimously.
“It was kicked down the road, and now we are facing it. We have to think about the current and future needs of the county,” Burke said.
Burke will combat overdevelopment if re-elected, instead looking toward well-planned “smart growth,” but she will push forward to protecting the health of her constituents and environmental concerns.
That means continuing to fight against Stoneridge Farms’ plan to develop the 900-acre property, the former site of Solite. The company ran an unhinged operation from the 1970s to the 1990s and is believed to be linked to cancer, illnesses and deaths of three generations of residents in the surrounding area.
“I want to continue to protect people in the area now and in the future,” she said.
A fire station does not exist within five miles for some residents of her district and is in desperate need in the event of an emergency.
“If a major fire takes place, response times could be delayed. We need to ensure that fires are extinguished in a timely manner. Insurance rates (for residents) are affected by that as well,” she said.