Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

4 Sue to Stop St. Johns Development

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

4 Sue to Stop St. Johns Development

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Scanlan, Times-Union staff writer

Four Russell Sampson Road residents are suing St. Johns County and its commissioners to stop development of two communities next door, claiming the St. Johns County Commission's approval will adversely impact their way of life and violate county zoning rules.

The suit was filed 30 days after the unanimous vote granted zoning changes needed to build Aberdeen and Durbin Crossing, which could add 4,516 houses and apartments as well as offices and stores in Fruit Cove. The vote came after a five-hour hearing at which many opponents claimed SouthStar Development Partners' two communities would overload existing schools and roads.

Residents Elaine Ansbacher, Robert Wheeler, Bill Thomason and Alexander Kimmell's 10-page suit asks a judge to order the county to rescind the vote, saying the developments will "adversely impact Russell Sampson Road, which is currently not paved or scheduled to be paved."

"These projects are outside the lines of the county's Comprehensive Zoning Plan and Northwest Sector Plan for future development. Both plans identify future development areas, and these huge projects are not identified in the area for future development," said the plaintiffs' Tallahassee attorney, Terrell Arline. "The other big issue is what planners call demonstrated need, that you shouldn't approve more development than your population projects show you need."

"We really concerned about it. We feel like there has been a breach of justice," added Wheeler. "We would like to see the county go ahead and pave the road."

The 1,313-acre Aberdeen community would be south of the Julington Creek Plantation, with 2,018 houses and apartments, 100,000 square feet of retail and office space, parks and land for a county school. The 2,047-acre Durbin Crossing community would abut Russell Sampson Road with 2,498 homes and apartments, 170,000 square feet of office and retail space, more parks and a new school. …

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