Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Linda Tokarz re: LAKE POINTE Nature Destruction

Letter: Another PUD threatens wetlands off S.R. 206
Posted: September 22, 2015 - 12:00am
By Linda R. Tokarz
St. Augustine
Editor: It is shocking, the ease with which the developer of Lake Pointe has sought — and won — his request to rezone a 40-acre parcel of wild land — previously zoned Open Rural (OR) and Residential Single-Family (RS-1) — to Planned Unit Development (PUD) status!
This tract is adjacent to the Sea Cove community just off S.R. 206 in south St. Augustine, and within 5 miles of two other large projects under construction.
I bought my home in 2004 with the understanding that the heavily wooded area behind it was protected from intense development by a comprehensive regional zoning plan. Other homeowners in my small community held a similar expectation that existing zoning laws would be enforced. These laws allow for a scale of development that helps maintain the more rural character of southern St. Johns County.
What is being proposed — up to 78 homes on 40 acres that include wetlands and a five-acre lake — is better suited to northern St. Johns and places like Ponte Vedra Beach.
Any amount of construction will impinge heavily on the diverse wildlife living on and near this tract. But there is also concern that it will negatively impact the water quality in wells upon which nearby residents rely, as well as the wetlands that are part of the county-approved drainage system that protects our properties from flooding.
I cannot see how this developer’s property rights should supersede those of my community, which was not zoned for PUD development.
A too-rapid and dense housing expansion will require infrastructure construction that will tax county residents and diminish the quality of daily life.

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