Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Proposed Mandarin Development Faces Much Opposition

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Proposed Mandarin Development Faces Much Opposition

Article excerpt


A rezoning request for a 49-unit subdivision in the 14200 and 14300 blocks of Mandarin Road is headed for full City Council review, after the council's Land Use and Zoning Committee gave it a unanimous recommendation late Tuesday.

Opponents say the River Story subdivision doesn't meet the mandates of a Mandarin Road Zoning Overlay, bringing too dense development to two-lane Mandarin Road.

Mandarin Community Club President Susie Scott said the council members should have looked into the year-old overlay legislation more closely to address this development's question of density.

"But they chose not to and deferred to the general counsel and planning department's interpretation of growth density," Scott said. "We are also disappointed that [the developer] did not make any concessions or modifications to address our concerns, nor to come into what we felt was more compliance with the intent of the overlay."

But developer Hawley Smith said his private gated community lives under the overlay's dictates.

"Both the general counsel's office and the planning department staff reconfirmed the interpretation of the Mandarin overlay and ... there is no question or doubt that we comply with that," Smith said. "I will do everything in my power to make this the finest neighborhood in Mandarin, and I believe all of the opponents will love the project and be pleased when it is finished."

The Mandarin Road Zoning Overlay seeks to enforce existing regulations limiting density on the road since it is a designated Scenic and Historic Corridor. Certain parts of the road don't have city sewer or fire hydrants, "so additional density could threaten the health, safety and welfare of existing and future residents," according to the bill.

Because most home sites on the road have been developed at a density of one unit per acre or larger, any rezoning requests would have to be "consistent with the established planning studies of Mandarin," according to the overlay bill. …

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