Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ponds Stall Housing Project

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ponds Stall Housing Project

Article excerpt

ORANGE PARK -- Concerns over legal and engineering issues have

further stalled final approval for the 199-home Laurel Grove

Plantation on DeBarry and Gano avenues.

One of the main stumbling blocks is language in legal documents

related to four retention ponds that will be built on the

88-acre site.

After discussing the new subdivision plans with developer Greg

Matovina for 2 1/2 hours Tuesday, the Planning and Zoning Board

voted to postpone a final decision until Jan. 7.

The proposed development, originally called The Greens of

Orange Park, received its initial review by the Town Council

about 18 months ago, and was set to be approved by the council

on Dec. 3.

However, Planning and Zoning Board Chairwoman Barbara Davidson

raised objections at the council meeting and the matter was

referred to her board for a final review in compliance with the

town's ordinance code.

Mayor Earle Theus conceded that due to an oversight, the

development had been placed on the council agenda for approval

without first being reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Board.

Before Davidson pointed out the procedural faux pas, three lots

were sold to Atlantic Builders and permits were issued for

construction of new homes.

During Tuesday's meeting, Davidson referred frequently to a

letter dated Aug. 13 from town engineer Keith Hadden, who made

four recommendations concerning streets and drainage easements

to protect the town's interests.

"These four recommendations need to be complied with before the

plat is approved," Davidson said. "We need to be sure that we

get it in writing and that there is a full understanding.

"We do not want to recommend to the council a plat that

overlooks potential problems that already had been brought to

their attention."

The board also heard concerns from two other property owners

regarding the development's stormwater drainage plans and how

they might affect nearby properties. …

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