Mandarin neighbors fighting to stop Loretto Road development

Plan would bring 56 homes to the area

MANDARIN, Fla – Thousands of people are fighting the plan to tear down what neighbors say is a historic home and replace the property with 56 new homes. The developer's plan calls for rezoning the area near the intersection of Loretto Road and Kennedy Lane in Mandarin.

The property is also home to a house that has stood for generations. With Spanish moss hanging in front, and Florida citrus in full bloom, for many, the house offers a glimpse into historic Mandarin.

That’s a reason some are against a rezoning plan that would bring 56 new homes to the area.

The current zoning allows for just over 20 new houses. Opponents of the rezoning plan say the project would bring more traffic to Loretta Road. They also said they would hate to see the house go.

Over 5,500 people have signed a petition through Change.org opposing the development. One supporter wrote in the petition,

"That home is beautiful and should be saved. Where is the historic preservation society?! I also agree there is no room on Loretto for 50 more houses."

Others are sharing the traffic concern. Another supporter who posted in the online petition wrote,

“The traffic on Loretto is already bad. During Rush hour the traffic is sometimes stopped all the way down towards st Joe's corner Loretto/ Greenland/old st Augustine. If Loretto was 2 lanes each way (4 total), I would be ok with this.”

Curtis Hart owns Hart Resources, LLC. He is the developer asking the city for the rezoning to build the subdivision. He spoke to News4jax by phone.

“I’ve always believed in listening to the folks who are impacted the most,” Hart said.

Hart said he’s already met with a group of citizens appointed by city councilman Michael Boylan, who represents this area. Hart says while he’s not sure what could be done about traffic, he’s more than open to hearing people out and making changes.

“They want different size lots. I certainly can take a look at that. They want to save that home. It hasn’t been declared historic, but it is an older home," Hart said. "We certainly can look at a way to save that home. I’m listening to them and will continue to do so.”

The rezoning has been deferred at least once already, but for now, it is set to go before the Land Use and Zoning Committee in mid-March. Public comment will be open. To look at the petition, click here.

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