Local developer withdraws controversial Clay County neighborhood proposal

During last night’s Clay County board of county commissioner’s meeting, an application to build 62 homes off a dirt road near Green Cove Springs was rescinded.

Action News Jax told you back in December when a proposal to build the 62-home community on Shedd Road was first brought to county leaders. The 20-acre piece of land it would be built on is only zoned for 4 homes.

Neighbors and even some county leaders say they aren’t completely against the neighborhood, but feel it’s in the wrong place.

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“This isn’t a right fit for a community that’s been there for years,” says Ryan Marcyes, who’s lived on Shedd Road for decades.

Other neighbors like Stacee Reape say the reasons why it’s not a ‘right fit’ for them go beyond just the 62 homes.

“These are real problems,” Reape says, “this is not just people not wanting a development, these are real issues of flooding and drainage and traffic and safety.”

Shedd Road sits near both two FEMA flood risk zones and Spring Park Elementary School. Reape and Marcyes say the road becomes somewhat of a river when it rains and is torn up by frequent school traffic. The two say people also use the road as a shortcut to either county road 315 or highway 17.

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“It’s like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole, where they’re trying to put that development,” says Reape.

Some county commissioners describe the neighborhood proposal in the same way.

“Builders and developers continue wanting to put a round peg in a square hole,” said Mike Cella, Vice-Chair of the board of commissioners.

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During last night’s meeting, the developer asked for a one-month continuance to make changes to the project addressing the concerns. But the request was denied, so the proposal was withdrawn.

“I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, to be honest with you,” said Jim Renniger, Chairman of the board of commissioners.

Neighbors say they’re open to more homes on Shedd Road, but think the proposal needs more work.

“I don’t think it has to stay exactly the way it is, but I don’t think we have to cram 62 homes into it either,” Reape says.

Action News Jax reached out to the owner of the land the neighborhood would be built on, who didn’t want to speak with us today.

Since the proposal was withdrawn and not denied, there’s a chance the developer could bring it back for another attempt at approval in the coming months.

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