ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – The St Johns County Planning & Zoning Committee voted 6-0 Thursday evening to deny a variance that would have allowed construction of 229 homes near the Durbin Park development plan.
Planners rejected a proposed KB Homes neighborhood, called Stonecrest, that would be built off Racetrack Road, near the entrance of the major retail and residential development that's anticipated to be completed in 2018.
According to the committee, the subdivision would not work with the coming commercial development.
Durbin Park will be built on Gate-owned property that constitutes the largest contiguous area in St Johns County planned for commercial development. Durbin Park will include an estimated 2.4 million square feet of retail, 2.8 million square feet of office space, 999 multifamily units and 350 hotel rooms. It will be contained within a landscape of abundant green space, walking trails, lakes and family entertainment offerings.
The 1,600-acre Durbin Park four-phase project will be built over the next several years along Interstate 95 at State Road 9B and will have major impacts on northern St. Johns County. Developers hope it will attract people from all over the region to shop and work.
Gate said it was opposed to the KB Homes subdivision.
Ted and Janine Lafiteau moved to St. Johns County from North Carolina to open an art business. The couple, who recently opened Creative Me Art Studio off Racetrack Road, said they're looking forward to the growth planned nearby.
"One of the reasons we moved her was because of the prospective growth and also for the schools," said Ted Lafiteau. "With the development in our future, I think it's going to bring an influx of customers coming down Racetrack Road toward us."
The committee's vote disappointed the Lafiteaus.
"We were hoping with the influx of resident coming into the area that would be something would help our business continue to grow," Tim Lafiteau said.
The planning committee's vote was just a recommendation. The St. Johns County Commission will have the final say in whether KB Homes can build the neighborhood.
A Gate spokesperson told News4Jax Friday that it plans to announce in a few months details on phase one of the project.