In 2020, the Jacksonville City Council voted down a proposal to develop nearly 48 acres of rural land in the heart of the Timucuan Ecological & Historical Preserve due to flooding and safety concerns as well as potential adverse impacts to the St. Johns River and wildlife.
Recently, the City Council gave the green light for a new proposal to build 90-plus homes on this low-lying, environmentally sensitive property by approving a land use change. However, the Council deferred a vote on the rezoning of this property until Tuesday, February 14, giving the developer an opportunity to address the outstanding concerns of the surrounding neighbors.
These concerns have not been resolved and the following threats remain:
Flooding & Safety Concerns
- Development of this kind leaves the City of Jacksonville more vulnerable to future storms and flooding along Cedar Point Road and Terrapin Creek.
- It also increases the potential flooding impacts to current residents and gives future property owners a false feeling of safety.
- Losing wetland capacity, forested tree canopy, and pervious surfaces for water retention on nearly 48 acres will impact the entire area and the current rural residents who may need to evacuate during major storm events. Nearby roads already flood and more runoff will increase the likelihood of area residents being isolated and stranded during flood and storm events.
Water Quality & Wildlife
- The addition of nearly 100 homes immediately abutting wetlands will negatively impact its ability to hold and absorb water and provide water quality functions.
- The loss in tree canopy will lead to an increase in runoff of polluted stormwater from the new homes, yards, driveways, and roads.
- This area is an actively managed forest with regular prescribed burns, critical to maintaining a healthy ecosystem and protecting us from forest fires. Putting hundreds of people in this area will make those processes more difficult or prevent them all together. Biodiversity is greatly enhanced because of this natural process.
- This project is proposed along the headwater segment of Terrapin Creek. All impacts from this development will reach all of Terrapin Creek including Clapboard Creek and the St. Johns River.
Unfortunately, the ecological health and integrity of the St. Johns River system is threatened due to years of wetland loss, urban sprawl, and the cumulative impacts of a growing population.
This area is already in the highest vulnerable area for flooding and will increase flood risk to existing residents.
Write to your City Council Member and At-Large Members today and ask them to vote no on the rezoning of this high-risk development.