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ST. JOHNS, Fla. – Residents of St. Johns County met Tuesday evening to discuss their objections to potential development in the northwestern part of the county.
The homeowners association from the Reserve at Greenbriar hosted a county commissioner and spoke about potential impact of more growth in the area. The meeting was standing room only at the Bartram Trail Branch library.
Debra Borcherding, who helped organize the meeting, said she was pleased with the turnout.
“It was awesome,” she said. “And we want that to continue because we think that we have a good reason for doing what we’re doing.”
Borcherding said it’s about the third meeting they’ve had — only this time, they were joined by County Commissioner Christian Whitehurst, who serves the Northwest St. Johns area.
Charlotte Lees is a homeowner. She and others in the room are concerned about rezoning residential areas into commercial. Lees said she lived through it in South Florida.
“All of a sudden, the roads are wide, the trees are gone. And frankly, believe it or not, the temperature goes up, it gets hotter. The more concrete you put down — laugh at me if you want to, but the more concrete you put down, the hotter the temperatures get,” Lees said.
Presenters showed a map of the area — Greenbriar between Longleaf Pine Parkway and the access to RiverTown.
They’re committed to voicing their concerns and say they’re open to seeing the other side if they can get it.
“And we want to continue to keep an open mind. But we want to keep our area as a single family home corridor,” Borcherding said.
And — they said they want more information from developers.
“It doesn’t impact them. It impacts people like us, who moved up here to get away from all of this development and all the shopping centers and four lane roads everywhere you turn and be where there’s trees, and it’s quiet,” Lees said.
Homeowners in the area pointed to three primary reasons to oppose any additional commercial space in the corridor: nuisance, aesthetics, and resale value for their homes.