City Council hears Rezoning Dispute over St. Andrews Drive

By Gary Scott on April 11, 2017 at 12:29pm

A request to rezone property near Jacksonville Country Club may have hit a snag.

Jacksonville aldermen passed the first reading of an ordinance to amend the Jacksonville Zoning Map for property on St. Andrews Drive from R-5 to R-1 last night. The request was sent to the Planning and Public Works Committee by Mike Hayes.

City Attorney Dan Beard explains the circumstances surrounding the rezoning request, and what Hayes plans to do with said property.

“Mr. Hayes had first reading of his rezoning petition for the property he purchased from the city last year on Country Club Road, and he’d like to rezone property on the north side of St. Andrews Drive to allow for single-family resident construction. At the time he got started on this, it was his understanding that his property butted up against the north side of St. Andrews Drive, and that being the case, then he would be allowed to construct houses and access those houses off of St. Andrews Drive,” says Beard.

St. Andrews Drive resident Ralph Gonzalez was also present at the meeting, but declined to comment. Beard breaks down what Gonzalez and the rest of the residents’ are disputing.

“Ralph Gonzalez, speaking on behalf of most of the residents along St. Andrews Drive along the south side, is taking the position that either the individual home owners or the home owners association owns a very thin strip of ground on the north side of the right-away of St. Andrews Drive, a one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half foot wide strip. And since they still retain ownership of that strip, Mr. Hayes cannot access lots off of St. Andrews Drive, unless he works something out with those home owners,” Beard explains.

Beard believes that ultimately, the issue might have to be resolved in a court of law.

“I advised the council last night that I did not see that they had any ability to resolve this matter themselves. Whatever the status of that strip is will have to be resolved between the home owners and Mr. Hayes, or by a court. The City Council can’t violate private property rights if that strip does exist. The best the city can do is they did approve on first reading, the rezoning request (Hayes) made for R-1. (Hayes) would much prefer to put nice homes on the north side of St. Andrews Drive, but his option if that can’t be accomplished in a fairly quick fashion, would be to withdraw his petition before second reading,” says Beard.

Hayes indicated last night he hoped the issue is resolved as quickly as possible so he could proceed with construction on single-family residents.