• City commission approves changes to Episcopal School of Jacksonville intersection

    By: Jenna Bourne , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    A city commission approved changes on Thursday to an intersection that has been frustrating Jacksonville neighbors for years.

    Five neighbors showed up to City Hall to speak out against the Episcopal School of Jacksonville’s plan, saying it will only cause more problems in their neighborhood.

    “It’s blatantly unfair,” said neighbor Don Dupree. “We face 30-40 minutes trying to get out of our houses a lot of days, twice a day. We’ve got SUVs lined up 50 cars deep in front of your driveway that won’t leave.”

    Despite neighbors’ objections, the city planning commission approved the school’s request to rezone its 44 acres so it can remodel the entrance.

    The school wants to add enhanced signage, new landscaping and a guard shack that Episcopal said will help keep the campus safe.

    “I retired as a director with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. I know safety and security. What they’re proposing has nothing to do with safety and security,” said neighbor Jimmy Holderfield.

    The school’s approved plan said it will alleviate traffic problems at the entrance by adding traffic lanes to the intersection of St. Elmo Drive and Munnerlyn Drive.

    Holderfield said the proposed pass-through lanes for neighbors are not good enough.

    “It doesn’t address what the real problem is,” said Holderfield. “They want to use their roads as their own personal service roads.”

    The attorney representing Episcopal before the commission, Steve Diebenow, declined to be interviewed for this story.

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