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Neighbors fighting potential traffic crunch in Mandarin

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Updated: 1/14 8:27 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Big plans are in the works for the corner of San Jose Boulevard and Oak Bluff Lane.  There could be a new bank branch there and a couple of new restaurants, including Chick-fil-A.

Resident Tad Duke said, "We like Chick-fil-A and we'd like to have them here.  The only thing is we would rather them not have access onto Oak Bluff because there's so much traffic here already."

Duke worries the new construction will bring new congestion.  

City Councilman Stephen Joost has more concerns.

He said, "It's a traffic issue.  It's a safety issue.  And it's also a big environmental issue for the neighbors that live along the creek bed."

Joost said the retention pond being constructed at the site is causing a muddy runoff into the creek behind it.

"Their quiet and useful enjoyment of their homes has been affected by this project," he said.

The issue brought dozens of concerned neighbors to a town hall meeting Monday, looking to learn more about the project and how it would affect them.  

Joost and his constituents say they're not opposed to development, they just want a better plan.

Joost said, "I live in that neighborhood. I use that street everyday of my life.  And so I'll be the first to tell you, I'll probably be there with my kids eating at these restaurants.  But we want to address the safety concerns and environmental concerns."

Duke has a possible solution.

He said, "Ideal for everybody, I think, is if they would cut a pathway where you go in through Target and Publix and everybody come out at the light."

Joost would like to see the plan go back to the zoning committee before there's any more progress on the project.

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