Costco development concerns Westside resident

If bill passes at City Council meeting, groundbreaking expected within weeks

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A new Costco could be coming to Jacksonville's Westside, but one woman who lives in the neighborhood said Wednesday that she's not happy about it. 

The store would be located in what's now a wooded area off Collins Road and Interstate 295.

Even though it's in the beginning stages, Sarah Shelton, who has lived in the community for 12 years, said the new development has gone too far and has become a devastation for her family.

Shelton told News4Jax that she and her family love the outdoors, but they're upset because natural areas are disappearing more and more everyday. 

"We heard rumors of the Costco coming in and that they were going to clear and break ground, but we were not made known at all that they were going to be destroying trees," Shelton said.

Shelton said that when she bought her home more than a decade ago, she was promised that the tree behind her home would not be torn down. 

But now, Shelton said, the trees behind her backyard have disappeared, the noise has increased and some of her fence has been knocked down.

"The entire canopy of trees that was covering our backyard (is missing)," Shelton said. 

When her daughters peak through the fence, they now see a field with few, if any, trees. Shelton wants some of the trees to be replaced, but that's not going to happen.

RELATED: Costco could soon be coming to Jacksonville's Westside

Jacksonville City Councilman Jim Love said the land will be cleared and replaced with a 50-foot-wide drainage ditch -- 10 feet from Shelton's property line. The Costco would be located another 50 feet from that ditch. 

A decision still has to be made regarding who will pay for the construction of Parramore Road, which is a cut-though road needed to connect Collins Road and Youngerman Circle so that the Costco can be built, according to Love. 

The ordinance will go back to committee Monday, and the Jacksonville City Council could vote on it Tuesday. 

If the legislation passes, Love said, Costco will pay for half of the construction of Parramore Road and the city will pick up the other half, then groundbreaking would begin within weeks. 

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