Rural part of Clay County could see rezoning, building of homes

County commission to discuss rezoning at Jan. 9 meeting

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Big changes could be coming to one of the few rural areas remaining in Orange Park, not far from Ridgeview High School.

Clay County is considering rezoning a few dozen acres of land in an area that right now is only trees and a few mobile homes, allowing for up to 125 homes to be built in the area.

Some residents said they’re not happy about it, and they're worried it could ruin their neighborhood by bringing in more homes, therefore more traffic.

The area southwest of Orange Park is now mostly a wooded area, dotted with orange signs to alert residents it could be rezoned to residential.

Despite the signs, most locals News4Jax spoke to weren’t aware of the possible changes.

Jim Taylor, a longtime residents along Washington Avenue, said he doesn’t support rezoning the land for a new subdivision.  He’s not the only local I talked to who thinks it could ruin the area.

"I can see this little slice of country, which is one of the few places in Orange Park that’s got a little piece of land. I kind of like this little slice of country," Taylor said, adding that he would not be happy to lose it.

The area is one of the few parts of Orange Park that still has a rural feel. In fact,  the whole northwest side of the neighborhood is undeveloped, but to the southeast, there is a lot of development along Blanding Boulevard.

Gavin Rollins, a chairman of the Clay County Board of Commissioners, said county leaders will determine whether this is smart growth or too much of a problem for the area.

"The commission understands growth is going to happen," Rollins said. "The question is to make sure the citizens that already live here have that quality of life."

The county commission will discuss the plan at its meeting on Tuesday.

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