Commission votes down Mandarin housing project

Residents contend development would ruin their rural way of life


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Some angry Mandarin residents had their voices heard Thursday night at a planning commission meeting, which convinced the commission to vote 6-2 against a controversial proposal for a new housing development called Grace Farms.

Earlier this month the Jacksonville Planning and Development Department had approved the project, which would have put 67 new homes on 17 acres on Plummer Grant Road, south of Old Saint Augustine Road.

Thursday night's planning commission was packed and went on for close to four hours. Residents contend the project will ruin their rural way of life.

"They're just pummeling us," Eddie Albert said. "I call it urban terrorism, where they're just building all these high density housing areas in an area where we had a small -- close to the city -- country life."

The project will now move on to the Land Use Committee, which is expected to take up the proposal Sept. 16.

An attorney for the developer is hoping to have that meeting moved to October.