By Cindy Jackson
Reporter
February 2, 2022

 

Sign marking the former Summer Beach Realty sales office.

The eleven-member Planning and Zoning Board for Nassau County had just one item on its agenda for the February 1, 2022 meeting.

That one item, in planning parlance — was for consideration of the Final Development Plan (FDP) for the land designated as Parcel D-1 of the Summer Beach Planned Unit Development (PUD).

The FDP would allow for 15 residential condominium units and up to 4,500 square feet of neighborhood commercial uses on a parcel which is approximately 3.21 acres.

Located at 5456 First Coast Highway the parcel lies within District 2 (represented by Commissioner Aaron Bell) and formerly housed the sales office for the Summer Beach Resort but is now vacant.

County staff, which have recommended approval of the FDP, requested a continuance until February 15th, 2022, due to the discovery of an issue relating to a second driveway located on the property’s eastern side.   There is a 100’ distance required from the driveway to the intersecting street corner for the Amelia Island Parkway since it is a “major collector” but only 50’ is required for Julia Street which is considered a “local road.”.

Staff is currently working with the developer on the issue and hope to have it resolved by February 15, 2022.

Before approving the continuance, Robert Companion, County Engineer, was asked by a PZB board member about traffic and whether or not a roundabout or a traffic signal would be needed. Companion explained that a study measuring traffic patterns noted the proposed development would see an additional 128 trips more a day resulting in 12 additional trips during “peak hours.” That change in traffic is considered “de minimis” – i.e., such an increase does not meet the threshold to warrant any a traffic signal or a roundabout. Consequently, getting funding from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) would probably not make its way onto FDOT’s priority list due to their findings from a 2018 study.

Related to the approval of the final development plan for this area at the crossroads of First Coast Highway and Julia Street, is the issue of Canopy Tree Protection. The property is subject to Land Development Code section 37.08 as the applicant is proposing to remove two protected canopy road trees from the right-of-way.

It was explained by County staff at the meeting, that Canopy Tree Protection issues are not under the purview of the Planning and Zoning Board but are decided by the Board of County Commissioners and the Board of County Commissioners alone. The date for the BOCC to consider that issue has been scheduled for February 1,

 

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9 Comments
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Nancy Dickson
Nancy Dickson
5 months ago

The island cannot take more clear cutting and development. This is a barrier island and we need the trees to keep it planted here. Our roads cannot take more traffic. Build elsewhere in the county if you must build.

Barton D Wiles
Barton D Wiles
5 months ago
Reply to  Nancy Dickson

Hallelujah

Pierre Laberge
Pierre Laberge
5 months ago

My opinion is that you really start thinking like in the big city, lets develop as much as possible, never mind the quality of life, this island will be in a few years overcrowded. IT funny tecently I met someone who moved here from Fort Myers because there was too much people, I told him in a few years you will have to move again. Thank you for reading , money , money as they say

Mark Tomes
Mark Tomes
5 months ago

Keep the trees, and turn that into a pocket park. If there must be residential development, pass legislation that requires 75% of it be truly affordable, that is, a mortgage that only costs 30% of a service worker’s monthly salary. Pie in the sky? Only for those with no vision or compassion.

Christine Harmon
Christine Harmon
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark Tomes

Mark, has the legislation you propose been enacted anywhere? Results?

Lyn Pannone
5 months ago

Correction: The county commission meeting where they will vote on whether to allow cutting through the canopy road and thus destroy 2 canopy trees is February 28. Attend if you want to show the commissioners that you do not want canopy trees destroyed.

John Rasmussen
John Rasmussen
5 months ago

It is absolutely amazing and absurd, that the planning board relies on 2018 traffic data. Furthermore no projections on future increases in traffic was considered. When estimates about traffic from this proposed development are used,I will politely argue that no one has counted landscape and maintenance workers, garbage trucks, ups, Amazon, postal and cleaning people and friends and family visiting. And please don’t forget that the proposed business will greatly add yet more traffic. If it is fast food ,Starbucks ect. All bets are off. I suggest that you revisit your absurd estimate. Briefly on trees. I was told by the planning board that the developer has agreed to keep 45% of the trees on the +3 acres. How is that possible????? John Rasmussen

John Rasmussen
John Rasmussen
5 months ago

Sorry forgot to mention that my post was sent to the planning board. John Rasmussen

Rich Polk
Rich Polk
5 months ago

Water covers the surface of that property on a periodic basis. Therefore, it’s a wetland. Local codes disapprove construction within wetland boundaries. Disturbing and removing groundwater for construction purposes will kill all the trees on that property & trees in the surrounding areas too. Nassau County must proceed very carefully with approval of this plan. The health and vitality of our tree canopy & our island is in jeopardy here.

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