The developer of a proposed RV park on Nassau County land on Sadler Road has temporarily set aside his part of legal action with neighbors opposing the project and come up with an alternative: asking Fernandina Beach to annex the property and approve building townhouses on it.
It clearly is a serious proposal. Property owner Ben Buchanan – who owns Intact Construction Management, LLC — has had Gillette & Associates draw up highly detailed plans for the development, as well as having a traffic study and an environmental study prepared.
A centerpiece of the plan is tree mitigation. The site now is heavily shaded by 35 mature live oak trees, along with a few other arboreal species. The plan calls for removal of 20 live oak trees and preservation of 15 live oaks. It includes the planting of nine small understory trees. Three of the trees marked for removal are considered to be in poor health.
Entry to the 12 townhouse garages would be via 11 driveways off Ryan Road and one off Sadler Road. The preserved live oaks would be in a tree protection area in the townhouse backyards.
For this alternative plan to work, Buchanan would have to:
1 – Win city annexation of the property, which would require city commission approval.
2 – Submit the plan for formal review by city staff and citizen boards.
3 — Get the the future land use map designation changed from commercial to residential.
4 — Get zoning changed to R1, R2 or R3.
5 – Answer inevitable questions about reduction of the city’s tree canopy plus neighborhood concerns, such as traffic patterns.
6 – Get city commission approval for the project.
He had been rejected in negotiations with the city for city services when the plan was for an RV park and already has county commission approval (by a 3-2 vote) for the RV project — but it could face lengthy litigation delays from neighbors and environmental groups.
The parcel is 1.38 acres and rectangular. One short side faces Sadler Road, and one long side feeds most of the driveways onto Ryan Road.
The townhouses are grouped in twos in the plan.