Residents complain private San Marco estate being used as public venue

The owner of the Tuscan River Estate has been renting out the property, much to the chagrin of its neighbors.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -  It is a prime piece of real estate in the Miramar community: The Tuscan River Estate, which is a majestic structure that is now mired in an ugly fight with the neighbors.

"They had a hundred cars parked in there," Betty Smith, a neighbor said.

Smith lives next door on Kelnepa Drive and in her eyes, it is a residential property being used in a commercial manner.

"Nobody has told us anything," she said. "They've got everything, not they have a bed and breakfast."

The owner of the Tuscan River Estate has been renting out the property, much to the chagrin of its neighbors
Marie Wood lives a few doors down from its wrought iron gate.

"Our street is a very quiet street," Wood said. "That's why we all bought on this one and a half lane street."

Kelnepa Drive is a dead end narrow road. Wood said when there's an event the street becomes a nightmare.

The social media site, Next Door, is flooded with their complaints.

"They even ferried people one time with a golf cart from the Miramar shopping center,” Wood said.

Their complaints have reached city hall. Lori Boyer is the district councilman.

"I was hearing complaints about parking," Boyer said. “I was hearing complaint about traffic noise, kind of  what you'd expect if you were running a entertainment or event venue."

City's Code Enforcement has cited the owner of Tuscan River Estate for 'running a resort on residential property.'

"It is not zoned for weddings," Smith said.

The owner has 30 days to comply with the zoning code or face fines.

The city's tax collector also paid the property owner a visit to be sure the bed tax is being paid.

The property manager is Michael Johnigean who called the complaints ridiculous. 
  
"This is not a commercial service," he said. "We are not running a resort, we are not a wedding venue, this is a private home I am leasing out through Home Away."

As for the parking complaints, he said no one is parking outside of the gate.

Johnigean said he has been leasing out the home for a year and a half without a complaint.

He said his lawyer is now working with the city to get zoning issue resolved. The neighbors said they want their quiet neighborhood back.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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