School board votes not to recommend developer's plan for schools

Recommendation given to County Commission, which will make decision

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The St. Johns County School Board voted Tuesday not to recommend to the St. Johns County Commission a developer’s current plan for the Silverleaf community's schools.

The Silverleaf community would be built on 8,500 acres of land along County Road 210 and County Road 16A. It would bring about 11,000 homes and as many as 5,000 students to the St. Johns County School District. 

According to the school board, the developer is required to provide land for three schools. Two would be K-8 schools and one would be a high school.

The original plan called for all three schools to be built within the community, but the developer's most recent plan calls for the high school to be on property outside the community and suggests building a thruway for students to access the school so that school transportation doesn't have to leave the community onto the rural but already busy C.R. 16A and then come back in. 

The school board and people who live in the area still have questions and concerns about the thruway -- how long and wide it would be, and if it would meet safety standards for buses and cars.

School board members voted Tuesday morning to deny the recommendation to the County Commission of the developer's current plan, saying the high school needs to be inside the community.

As for what's next, the County Commission will know that the school board does not support the developer's current plan for schools. The school board hopes the County Commission will keep that in mind, as commissioners will make the final decision to approve or deny the plan.

Commissioners are expected to vote May 21 on the school portion of the plan.