(Florida Times-Union) -- Jacksonville City Council members will vote at their Tuesday meeting on what has become a contentious development proposal for the historic Mandarin area.
Off County Dock Road, a developer wants to build a 21-home subdivision, Dockside Estates, on property currently zoned to allow only one house per acre.
At least 100 residents in the surrounding neighborhood voiced opposition to the project, saying they felt it impacted the quality of life in the neighborhood. However, the City Planning Department and Mandarin City Council representative Matt Schellenberg say the project is exactly what the area needs.
“I know the people there. I love Mandarin,” Schellenberg said. “I’m not going to destroy Mandarin for a few houses. I want people to move there, but the only way we are going to have that is if we have more houses.”
The Jacksonville Land Use and Zoning Committee proposed conditions on the project: access to nearby Loretto Road will be eliminated; a traffic and environmental study will be completed; and all removed trees over three feet in diameter will require mitigation. Also, if a traffic study deems County Dock Road should become a one-way street, developers must cover the cost of signage and striping.
Mandarin Road, Loretto Road and County Dock Road, which border the 9.3 acres in question, meander through an extensive tree canopy dotted by riverfront, estate-sized residences and historical structures. The roads weave past refurbished farmhouses and the Walter Jones Historical Park, which houses an 1875 homestead farmhouse, barn and outbuildings.