Housing Development Update: SR 16 Area

Housing Development update: SR 16 Area

Zoning Hurdle Cleared for 180-Unit Apartment Complex Near SR 16

A Balanced Approach to Development

A proposed 180-unit apartment community in St. Johns County has taken a significant step forward after receiving a positive recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Agency. The project, situated on a 23-acre site near the State Road 16-Interstate 95 interchange, aims to address the area’s growing housing demand.

Preserving Natural Surroundings

The site covers about 12 acres of wetlands, with only one acre at risk of impact, showing a commitment to preserving the environment. Additionally, nearby natural areas and mitigation banks like Star 4 Mitigation Bank, Windward Ranch wetland conservation areas, and Whisper Ridge platted conservation zones play a vital role in protecting the property.

Navigating Zoning Challenges

Additionally, the land, presently zoned as Open Rural, is under consideration for a zoning change to Planned Unit Development and a land use change, spearheaded by applicants Paul Bertozzi, Andrew Linn, Paul Ware, and B&L Capital Group. Consequently, county approval is required, triggering concerns regarding its alignment with the predominantly single-family home developments in the vicinity.

Addressing Affordability Needs

However, PZA member Greg Matovina acknowledged the growing need for multifamily housing, particularly for young adults struggling with affordability. Four PZA members voted in favor of recommending approval, while two dissented.

Proven Track Record

Attorney Tom Ingram, representing the developers, confirmed that Live Oak Contracting, led by CEO Bertozzi, will construct apartments akin to its thriving Cadence at Nocatee and Olea at Nocatee communities in northern St. Johns County.

Affordable Housing Component

Ingram addressed affordability by stating 40% of units would be deed-restricted as “affordable” for 15 years, targeting specific income brackets.

Final Approval Pending

The project progresses to county commissioners for final approval after the Planning and Zoning Agency’s recommendation, set for April 16.
About the Author
Kim Devlin
Kim Devlin is Your St Augustine Realtor. A Relocation Specialist serving Northeast Florida, St Johns County and Flagler County. She enjoys sharing real estate tips and local insight on communities and living in St Augustine Florida. Tune in weekly and be sure to subscribe to her monthly newsletter.