Russell says he says loves his new home. Developers are clearing land to make way for more luxury homes in Nocatee but a homeless man has been camping out on U.S. 1 near a gas station down the street.
"We worked really hard and we saved and, you know, we built the house of our dreams and you have to see that coming in," . "It's quiet, peaceful, new, and there are many amenities for our kids."
St. Johns County police said there wasn't much that could be done because no law against camping exists there except on the beaches. They say despite deputies talking to the man, they couldn't move him without a complaint from the landowner.
"If we had some legal justification to make an arrest or to move him then we would have done that," says Cpl. Catherine Payne with the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.
But police say there's nothing to prevent him or anyone else from coming back. Cpl. Payne adds that residents should know the police keep records of anyone found camping in the area not only to prevent against crime but also help if there is a medical emergency.
Not everyone in Nocatee thinks there's an issue. Resident Jon Clough tells WOKV the homeless man looks like he's in pretty bad shape and probably should see a doctor for a large growth or tumor on the side of his head.
"My heart feels for the guy," says Clough.
Cpl. Payne says the man had refused medical attention multiple times but deputies were able to convince him to go to a shelter in Duval Wednesday morning after he realized he would be in a safer place.
Clough says this is the only time he's ever seen a squatter in Nocatee, and while he admits the mess on the side of the road is a bit unsightly, he doesn't think it's right to look at another human being as an eyesore.
"I wouldn't say that I was upset but he does look rough. I ain't kiddin' ya...I mean [the mess] is an eyesore but, you know, he's a human, and he's in bad shape."
Another Nocatee resident told WOKV's Matt Augustine on Twitter that he's seen the homeless man too and that while he doesn't think there's a squatter problem in Nocatee, he does think the county should do something to prevent long-term encampments.
*Note* This story has been corrected for having referenced A1A instead of U.S. 1 . We regret the error.