Jacksonville approves rezoning; residents ask administrative judge to review land use decision

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Florida Construction News staff writer

Jacksonville city council has approved a request to rezone land near the Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve to be rezoned for a new development.

It’s a necessary step to allow construction of 100 new homes in the area, despite calls from some residents to scrap the plan due to safety and environmental concerns.

The city’s land use plans have been altered to allow the 48-acre agricultural property to be used for residential uses and rezoning has been approved, mapping locations for houses built on 60-foot-wide lots where 60 percent of the land will be covered by buildings, driveways, sidewalks and other hard surfaces.

The 49-acre property is surrounded on three sides by Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park and sits near other parkland in the 7 Creeks Recreation Area.

Neighbors opposed to the subdivision have petitioned the State of Florida Division of Administrative Hearings requesting a formal administrative hearing pursuanrequesting a formal hearing raises multiple objections to council’s decision to change the land-use map in Jacksonville’s growth plan to treat the subdivision site as “rural residential” land instead of agricultural.

They are hoping the administrative court ruling will undo the approved rezoning, because the subdivision wouldn’t be permitted on agricultural property. Administrative Law Judge E. Gary Early will set dates for the hearing.

Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park is part of a larger area known as the 7 Creeks Recreation Area. Managed in partnership with the National Park Service, the city of Jacksonville and the North Florida Land Trust, the 7 Creeks Recreation Area encompasses 5,600 acres of contiguous conservation lands in northeast Jacksonville.

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