Q & A with Jacksonville City Council Member Matt Schellenberg (District 6)

Q: Can you tell us what is happening with the building previously used as physicians’ offices on San Jose Boulevard, just north of Pall Mall Drive?

A: I have received many questions about this. The property is zoned CBC-2, which allows for a gas station; this is what the developer plans to build. It is within the property owner’s rights to do this with the current zoning. The property owners have asked for a zoning administrative deviation to modify some of the perimeter landscaping requirements. This will require a public notice to neighborhood associations and all property owners within 350 feet. This request will go to PZA only and not come to the City Council. Even if for some reason, the request is denied, it would go to the Planning Commission and ultimately, possibly to court. The City Council will never see or be asked to act on this request.

Q: Do you have an update on the trees for Mandarin Road?
A: The tree planting along Mandarin Road is completed, and some of the trees have actually already been replaced. The trees are guaranteed for two years. The arborist we used didn’t like some of the trees and these are the ones that were replaced. Some of the trees are already showing new growth, which is great. I hope people on Mandarin Road enjoy this new landscaping.

Q: Do you have any other updates for District 6?
A: Be sure to visit Losco Regional Park. The splash park should be open by the time you read this. Also, the design/build process is underway for sidewalks along Orange Picker Road and we are replacing the benches behind the South Mandarin Library. We are pushing hard to get the property for the dog park purchased before I leave office.

I’d like to thank citizens for keeping my office up to date on issues they come across in Mandarin. I can’t be everywhere and I appreciate the input on needed sidewalk repair and potholes, so we can take care of those things as soon as possible.

Q: Your time in office is almost over. Do you have any news to share about the transition to a new council member?

A: My last day in office is June 30. It’s been a pleasure and an honor to serve the community; I’ve always been intentional about trying to serve all 70,000 residents of Mandarin.

I’ll have one more column in this newspaper next month. I expect a smooth transition as I pass off to Mandarin’s new City Council Member, Michael Boylan, who will do a good job. He will be retaining my City Council aide. I hope residents will reach out to him.

Q: What is the best way for our readers to contact you?

A: Community members can email me at MattS@coj.net or call (904) 630-1388.