New subdivision Amelia Oaks – Trees removed – Trees Saved

Press Release
City of Fernandina Beach
Community Development Department
Adrienne Burke, CDD Director

Trees Crop 2
Amelia Island Trees

Site improvements are currently taking place at the Amelia Oaks subdivision on Sadler Road. Amelia Oaks (formerly Keystone) is an approved subdivision project both through the City site plan review process and the St. Johns Water Management District (SJRWMD). The development consists of 40 homes, a clubhouse, and pool on approximately 8.5 acres. The current site improvements are taking place under a City permit for infrastructure, tree removal, and grading work. The developer, D and H Homes, has been working with the City extensively to ensure that the required tree removal and grading activities are not excessive and do not threaten the adjacent waterway, which is a former mosquito control ditch. This ditch is not considered a wetland by SJRWMD, so wetland buffers in the City Land Development Code do not apply. However, buffering will still be present on the bank between the homes and waterway in order to prevent runoff and control erosion.

The bank adjacent to the waterway has been cleared to remove dense shrubbery and non-native plants. The entire bank will be replanted with non-invasive and native plants to help restore it. The developer has worked closely with the City’s Greenway manager, Kathy Russell, on the bank replanting scheme. Nutrient pollution and erosion were of major concern for City staff, and staff feels confident a good solution has been reached. The City has also encouraged the developer to use native and drought-tolerant plants on the homesites adjacent to the bank to avoid fertilizer runoff. Further, the waterway is being cleaned out with equipment in order to help improve water flow.

There will be 763 inches of trees removed on the project site. There will be 1386 inches of trees saved. Overall, City staff has had a great deal of back and forth with D and H Homes to make sure that the development strikes an appropriate balance between private property rights and protection of natural resources. The tree removal plan and bank landscape plan are available for review at the Community Development Department at City Hall.

For more information, contact Adrienne Burke, CDD Director, at [email protected] or 904-310-3135 or Marshall McCrary, Deputy City Manager, at 904-310-3100 or [email protected] St. Johns River Water Management District permits are available for review online at http://sjrwmd.com/permitting/.

March 6, 2014 10:30 a.m.

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