A controversial development plan in San Marco has sparked concerns among residents due to its potential impact on the area. The proposed project includes office and storage space along St. Augustine Road, next to Phillips Craig Swamp Cemetery, which contains gravesites dating back to the 1860s.
Residents are worried that the commercial business will bring too close to residential homes and disrupt the historical landmark. Jeremiah Bowser, a neighbor, expressed his concerns about increased noise and traffic in the neighborhood as well as the visual impact on the historical gravesites.
Initially, the city’s Planning Department denied the recommendation due to inconsistencies with the comprehensive plan and intrusion into a residential neighborhood. However, after further discussion, the Planning Commission voted to approve it. Members stated that all commercial activity would be indoors and would have no impact on the residential neighborhood.
Neighbors argue that there are already many properties zoned for commercial use along St. Augustine Road that are not located right next to residential areas. They also raised concerns about drainage issues with Craig Creek in the area.
The developer assured residents that they would build a single-story building and were mindful of their concerns about noise and traffic impacts on nearby homes. They also stated that Phillips Craig Swamp Cemetery would act as a natural buffer for other homes along St. Augustine Road. The developer mentioned that drainage issues and other problems would be addressed during permitting processes.
The re-zoning from low-density residential to business parks would need approval from Land Use & Zoning committee members before it can be approved by council members.
In conclusion, while neighbors have raised valid concerns about this proposed development project, they must work with developers who are committed to addressing these issues during permitting processes while still providing job opportunities for locals in San Marco’s community development projects should be carefully planned so that they do not cause harm or inconvenience to residents living nearby.