City Council votes down Mandarin zoning change

21-home County Dock Road development rejected by 14-5 vote

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – People who live off a historic road in Mandarin said they are celebrating a small victory after the Jacksonville City Council on Tuesday night voted down a proposed development.

The full City Council voted 14-5 against a zoning change, which would have allowed a new 21-home development off Loretto Road near Dock Road. It came after the council's Land Use and Zoning Committee passed the proposal by a 6-1 vote in June.

The homes were planned to be built on a 9-acre wooded parcel. But many neighbors have been fighting the idea for months, saying the development would have increase traffic and ruin the character of the area.

Though they won the battle, residents said, they know the war isn't over.

"We are grateful and relieved that the council heard us and voted it down," said Rosalind Sandell, who has lived on County Dock Road for 31 years. 

Sandell told News4Jax on Wednesday that she breathed a sigh of relief after the City Council voted against the new neighborhood, which would have been right next to her home. 

"They were going to wipe out 75 percent of these historic oaks over here. And the lots were so tiny, and the houses were so massive -- there was no room to even replant what they needed," she said. 

Neighbors said the development would have brought more traffic and create even more of a safety concern than what Sandell has already experienced.

"We've had seven people come through that fence just since the church went up. My husband has even put cement in the post, or we would have had people in our dining room already," she said. 

David Schwab, who also lives in the area, said he doesn't believe the fight is over yet. 

"It's about setting precedents for the area at large -- trying to remove power lines, put them underground, adding sewers where we have septic systems now. But that would require them to remove all of the oak trees along Mandarin Road and we really don't want that to happen," Schwab said.