Neighbors upset over proposed development

Development would bring 67 new homes to South Mandarin

By Scott Johnson - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - There is a land fight happening in Mandarin and Thursday night dozens of Mandarin residents packed into Loretto Elementary school to let city leaders know that they do not want a new development in South Mandarin.

The area in question is farm land that developers want to build homes on. People who live nearby the land said the development would ruin their way of life.

The proposed development would build 67 homes on the Grace Farms area that is located just south of Old St. Augustine Road.

"I live right across the street from it. I don't want to look at that 67 houses, I'd rather look at 4 horses," said Mandarin resident, Ralph Lawson. "It's destroying our neighborhood. We moved out here for a rural setting. 67 houses isn't rural."

The attorney for the developer was at Thursday night's meeting to answer questions for the people who live nearby. Many of the neighbors have put up many signs saying they don't want Grace farms developed. Man people said they feared they're fighting a losing battle.

"Hopefully we can reduce number of houses going in there. I've heard some people say reduce, ‘Do you think this is a lost cause?' I don't think so at this point, but all we can do is hope," said Joe Schneider.

"I'm here to listen to what neighbors have to say and after all facts are presented, I'll make up my mind. Right now I don't have opinion one way or another," said City Councilman Matt Schellenberg.

The controversial building plans will go to city hall next, there will be city council committee meetings on both June 19th then another in July. The public will be allowed to speak at both of those meetings as well.

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