St. Johns County

‘Doesn’t make sense’: St. Johns County Commissioners approve expansion after community shows concern

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — A heated debate over expanding a St. Johns County neighborhood.

One after the other, people told county commissioners their concerns about expanding the Silver Leaf community.

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“We aren’t prepared for it,” says St. Johns County resident Dorris Taylor.

A public hearing lasted for nearly three hours. Most residents who spoke said the county just isn’t ready for the expansion, which calls for 5,600 new housing units.

“It doesn’t make any sense. We wouldn’t be able to go anywhere,” says Taylor.

Traffic and infrastructure are major concerns for Taylor.

According to documents filed with St. Johns County, the developer is looking to add almost 2,400 acres to the Silver Leaf community.

Taylor, along with many other community members, argued the project is too much, too soon.

“It makes me feel angry, furious and disgusted. It’s very clear that these commissioners aren’t representing the taxpayers of this county,” says Taylor.

After a lengthy discussion, county commissioners approved this development by a four-to-one vote.

County chairman Henry Dean voted in favor and says the developer already put up millions for the project.

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“He has invested 143 million dollars of his own money to provide roads both within and exiting this development,” says Dean

Dean even says the developer came up with plans to add more schools to support all those new households.

“He has provided three school sites within the Silver Leaf. He conveyed those sites within the school board for future schools to take care of our children.”

We asked Dean how much this project could cost taxpayers in the future.

“Another 50 million dollars in road needs that the county would have to pay out of our tax revenue,” says Dean.

We also asked Dean when this development will begin. He says parts could start right away. But the bigger portion of the project will not start until 2030.

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