Neighbors Cite Builder's Site This Is a Business in a Home, but Not a Home Business

By Magee, Keri | The Florida Times Union, August 17, 1996 | Go to article overview

Neighbors Cite Builder's Site This Is a Business in a Home, but Not a Home Business


Magee, Keri, The Florida Times Union


JACKSONVILLE -- A construction company has been cited for

illegally operating a business office in The Woods housing

development, according to city zoning officials, and some

residents are fed up with the traffic.

"They are conducting business in a residential area," said

Cindy Ramalko, who lives across the street from the office.

"Sometimes there are eight to 10 cars wrapped around our cul de

sac.

"I have an 8-year-old daughter and I refuse to let her play

outside because the traffic is horrendous. It's very upsetting."

The house that contains the Jacksonville operations of

Intervest Construction Inc. is about a year old. When it was

built, neighbors assumed it would be a model home, and would

soon be sold as a residence. But they realized after a few

months that ICI had established an office that was being visited

regularly by contractors and subcontractors, real estate

personnel and people shopping for homes, Ramalko and neighbors

Frances Rowland and Gail Wilson said.

"We're retired. You buy in a cul de sac hoping for peace and

quiet," Frances Rowland said. "Half of the time we couldn't get

out of our driveways."

The Jacksonville Building and Zoning department cited Intervest

Construction Inc. on June 27 for using a single-family dwelling

as a business office in a residential zone and filed a complaint

with the code enforcement board on July 9, said Claude Bagwell,

chief of building and zoning.

Bagwell said this is not the first time his office has dealt

with Intervest. The company was cited in March 1995 for

illegally operating a business office in the Windsor Park

subdivision. The case never went before the code enforcement

board because the company relocated in August 1995, according to

city records.

Sandy Griffis, office manager at ICI's office at 1804 Vine

Branch Drive West in The Woods, said she was not aware the

company was breaking the law. When asked about the Windsor Park

citation, she said, "I don't know anything about that."

ICI Vice President Charlene Irland said the company is aware of

the zoning violations and is taking steps to move the

Jacksonville office from The Woods. Meanwhile, she said, the

company will try to minimize the traffic and parking problems

associated with the office.

"We don't want the neighbors upset with what they perceive as

more than residential activity in their community," Irland said.

"We're making a commitment to be out within a certain number of

months. I don't know what that number is," she added. "Obviously

you can't just pick up and move. We are working on a relocation

plan."

Irland said she was not aware the company had been cited for

similar zoning violations in Windsor Park.

Griffis said she was unaware of any citations or communications

with Jacksonville's zoning or code enforcement officials. …

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