Duval County

‘Woods to worry’: Southside neighbors fight townhome development near wetlands

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A southside neighborhood is rallying against a proposed townhome development that backs up to wetlands near Pottsburg Creek.

Belfort Landing would bring up to 60 townhomes along Belfort Road at the corner of Hogan Road.

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The 15-acre plot is currently zoned for 21 single-family homes.

”You really have to put those where they belong — where they’re zoned for,” John Zona, a neighbor, said. “There’s nothing here that has apartments or even duplexes.”

Zona, who is also an architect, said the development also poses a flooding risk along Pottsburg Creek.

”You go from woods to worry in a New York minute,” he said.

In his 15 years living in the neighborhood, Hogan Road has been shut down and the bridge was closed twice for flooding. Neighbors are concerned the new development will leave nowhere for storm runoff to go.

”I do this for a living. And I would advise my client immediately against taking on the neighborhood, changing the zoning, and cramming this much development on that beautiful piece of property,” he told Action News Jax’s Robert Grant.

The St. Johns River Water Management District said staff reviewed the project and said it showed no impacts to the wetlands.

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Zona argues they’ve only approved a concept at this point.

The land is currently home to several live oaks and wildlife. Something Mike Adams, a neighbor, said is more fitting for a nature preserve.

”It’s like a little treasure,” he said. “It’s been zoned for homes, which is fine. There’s nothing we can do about that.”

Action News Jax reached out to the applicant, Paul Harden, for comment. We will update this article when we hear back.