SE Jacksonville neighbors concerned about 5,000 acre development

Councilman hosting workshop Wednesday night

By Ashley Harding - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Concerned neighbors are expected to sound off Wednesday night about a plan to develop more than 5,000 acres in southern Duval County.

The city is hosting a workshop to discuss concerns like traffic and the impact on the environment. The landowner has asked the city for permission to build homes and businesses in the area north of Philips Highway and east of E-Town Parkway. This is the same area where another large development is already under construction.

In all, this equates to roughly 8 square miles of undeveloped land near E-Town Parkway. While it doesn’t look like much now, developers are talking about adding homes to the area over the next several years. That idea has some residents concerned.

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Donna Herrin is on the Southeast Citizens Planning Advisory Committee and lives in a neighborhood adjacent to where part of this development would go. She says with growth from neighboring communities, plus visitors heading to IKEA and the Town Center, more development would be too much.

“You have E-Town starting, so the saturation of traffic and residents is just really large,” Herrin said.

In a letter she wrote to the city, Herrin says the things that could be impacted include access roads, emergency services, schools, wetlands and waterways, and wildlife.

VIEW: Letter to city council

“We understand the city is going to grow. We’re going to have people coming, which is great,” Herrin said. “But there are other areas in Jacksonville that are not already as saturated as the southeast.”

Councilman Danny Becton represents this area and is hosting Wednesday’s workshop. He’s heard the concerns from constituents but says this development won’t happen overnight.

“These particular builds and projects that we will be discussing are very far out into the future,” Becton said. “For what Jacksonville might need in terms of new neighborhoods.”

Herrin says she doesn’t want to slow down growth but believes developers should look at other areas in Jacksonville.

“We have the west part of Duval County. We have the Northside,” Herrin said. “So, I believe there are other areas where development can occur.”

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