Q: Can you comment on some of the recent rezoning requests?
A: We have had a plethora of rezoning requests lately. In fact, there are no fewer than 10 rezoning applications in play at this time. I actually have three general things I’d like people to understand:
- Rezoning means changing the existing rules by which a particular piece of property can be developed. So, for this reason, we have to be especially diligent in our consideration.
- There needs to be an appreciation of the vetting process. It’s a very detailed process and all the steps need to be followed.
- My role, since I am vice chair of the LUZ (Land Use and Zoning) Committee — which I asked to be on due to the amount of activity in Mandarin — is a quasi-judicial role. What this means is I cannot take a position on anything until it actually comes before the LUZ as part of the vetting process. But I can and do host Town Hall meetings and bring interested groups of neighbors together to work with developers to determine what would be a mutually agreeable outcome.
I understand that Mandarin is a highly desirable place to live. The City of Jacksonville is growing and naturally some of the growth is coming our way.
Q: Can you give an update on the meeting held on Feb. 10 regarding the potential rezoning of the historic home and property on Loretto Road owned by the Sissel family?
A: This was a well attended meeting — we probably had more than 100 people at the Mandarin Garden Club. A member of the city’s planning department and someone from the office of general counsel talked about the process and how citizens could offer opinions. The developer explained what he wanted to build. Concerns by those in attendance included preservation of the home, traffic and school impacts, and environmental and drainage issues. We were able to secure a small group, led by long-time Mandarin resident Tracey Arpen, to meet later with the developer to open a dialog. This particular rezoning request has been deferred at least two cycles while this dialog continues.
Q: What is the latest on the Simon property near County Dock Road, which had an unsuccessful rezoning request a couple of years ago?
A: I am working with the city to hopefully acquire this property and develop it as a passive park. We should have more specific information about this in the coming months.
Q: Are there any upcoming rezoning community meetings?
A: On March 9 at 7 p.m. at River Garden, the potential rezoning of property on Barkoskie Road will be discussed. The proposal is for 12 high end quad-plexes (four units to a building) for a total of 48 units. These units will be for sale, not for rent.
Q: What is the best way for our readers to contact you?
A: Community members can email me at MBoylan@coj.net or call (904) 255-5206.