New homes coming to Green Cove Springs

By Nick Blank
Posted 9/26/18

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A new 11-home development is one step closer to getting off the ground after Green Cove Springs City Council approved a rezoning for the property Tuesday night.

Fleming …

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New homes coming to Green Cove Springs

Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A new 11-home development is one step closer to getting off the ground after Green Cove Springs City Council approved a rezoning for the property Tuesday night.

Fleming Island-based developer Raelynn Homes presented a plan for 11 homes, “Cottages by the Cove,” with a minimum size of 1,200 square foot houses on 5,000 square foot lots. City planners said the number of houses in the plans may change after accounting for other factors such as stormwater.

The property at 915 Bay St. is bordered by Tucker Street to the east, Cove Street to south and the CSX railway line to the west near the Green Cove Springs Police Department building.

The plans were passed unanimously by the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission in August. Adding homes valued around $150,000 is what the city needs more of, added Council Member Steven Kelley, citing personal experience.

“I do support a project like this because I was recently trying to buy a home in the same price range,” Kelley said. “It was really difficult.”

Resident Karen Kenney said she had a petition with 150 resident signatures opposing the plan. She also voiced concerns with the rezoning and adding a large amount of people to a condensed area would complicate parking.

“Nobody likes the idea of this,” Kenney said.

Council Member Mitch Timberlake said the homes were necessary to deal with the city’s future growth projections. Timberlake and council member Van Royal agreed the city’s lack of affordable housing was an issue that can only be eased by more development of smaller homes.

“There is not a question that Clay County, and by inference Green Cove, have a huge shortage of workforce homes,” Timberlake said. “If you move to Green Cove and you have $300,000-$400,000 to buy a house, it’s pretty easy.”

Kenney, who said she had attended government meetings in the city for 60 years, argued the expansion would lead to Green Cove Springs losing its current feel.

“That area was an honest area. A community. Green Cove Springs isn’t subdivisions. We’re neighborhood,” Kenney said. “We know the grandkids. We know the names of the dogs and cats.”

Council members then unanimously voted to amend the Future Land Use Map and the zoning of the property to accommodate residential medium density. Council members will hear the proposal again for a second and final reading Oct. 2.

Green Cove Springs also said goodbye to City Manager Danielle Judd. She will remain as a special advisor for the next couple of weeks as she assists incoming City Manager Steve Kennedy.

The city council, County Manager Stephanie Kopelousos, Keystone Heights City Manager Scott Kornegay and several audience members wished the best for Judd, who has served as Green Cove Springs city manager since 2011. She thanked staff and council members.

“I have a lot of good memories from what’s happened here,” Judd said. “I believe the city is going to move forward and be in a better place.”

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