JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A vocal protest in Mandarin Friday morning over the land use and zoning of a particular parcel of land at the corner of San Jose Blvd. and Oak Bluff Ln.
At-large councilman Steven Joost along with former council members Jack Webb and Sharon Copeland were joined by residents as they held signs that said things like "No Curb Cut" and "Keep Our Roads Safe."
A Chick-fil-a and Chase Bank, among other things, have been zoned for the land but residents worry these high-volume businesses and specifically the curb cut that would be needed on Oak Bluff to allow traffic in and out of the businesses will create a traffic nightmare for residents in an area that already is congested and dangerous during the day. The city council Land Use and Zoning Committee passed the ordinance unanimously on Tuesday and it is now set to go before the full city council next Tuesday.
"This came before the council last year. Nothing changed but the density or intensity of the project. It went down last year but it came through this year and it flew through the council," says former councilman Jack Webb.
Webb says Oak Bluff Ln. is already a very residential area and it's bad enough for people trying to get onto San Jose Blvd. during peak traffic hours. He says if you put more businesses and a curb cut on the residential road, it could make it nearly impossible for those who live in the area to even leave their homes during rush hour.
"They're saying that these businesses are not destination businesses and that's completely inaccurate," says former councilwoman Sharon Copeland.
Mandarin residents are holding a town hall meeting on Monday at 6:30 at the Mandarin Community Club on Mandarin Rd. and are encouraging everyone to come out. Councilman Joost tells WOKV that his colleague, councilman Matt Schellenberg, who oversees the Mandarin district, will be in attendance to answer questions from his constituents.