YULEE, Fla. – Yulee residents attended a meeting early Thursday evening about a proposed commercial development in the growing business corridor along State Road 200 in Nassau County.
A handful of homeowners in the Meadowfield subdivision attended the County Commission meeting to voice concerns about the proposed six-building shopping center, known as Tyler Plaza West, that would be located on a 5.24-acre property near S.R. 200/A1A and Meadowfield Bluffs Road in Yulee.
Along Meadowfield Bluffs Road, there's the Meadowfield neighborhood on one side of the dead-end road and there are wetlands and a creek on the other side, where the proposed developed would be situated.
"You don't even know it's back here," homeowner Seber Newsome III told News4Jax on Thursday before the meeting. "Really no crime -- just a nice area."
Newsome said the peacefulness is why he and wife moved to the Meadowfield subdivision in 2011. That's among the reasons why he said it's upsetting to think a big shopping center could be built just blocks away.
"One thing, because of the possibility of more flooding. After Irma, our road was so badly flooded we couldn’t even leave the neighborhood for days," Newsome said. "Now if they’re going to get rid of the wetlands and raise it up and put stores in a parking lot, where is the water going to go?"
In 2008, according to county officials, Meadowfield Bluffs Road was turned into a canopy road, meaning it is protected from things such as cutting down specific trees and widening the road. But it is not protected from developments on private land.
If approved, the project would replace a wooded lot with 47,000 square feet of retail space, according to plans filed Aug. 26 with the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD).
The developer, Cross Regions Group, is still waiting for approval from SJRWMD, which has until Oct. 13 to approve the application or seek more information from the developer.
SJRWMD approved an application in 2010, but it expired in 2014.
Even if the SJRWMD approves the proposal, the Nassau County Commission also has to approve it.
Newsome and others who live in the neighborhood are also worried about traffic, saying it’s already difficult turning onto A1A.
He and three other homeowners expressed their concerns about the proposal at the County Commission meeting, and said they will continue to do so as the process continues.