Oceanway neighbors will get more opportunities to voice concerns after Chick-fil-A public hearing confusion

Neighbors fighting to block a Chick-fil-A restaurant from being built across from First Coast High School will have four more chances to voice their concerns to city leaders.

The announcement comes after a mix-up involving a public hearing Wednesday night.

Residents of the Oceanway community said they were only given a 24-hour heads up — that the project was on the City Council’s agenda — and said more could have shown up if they had known earlier.

About 30 residents who live in the North Creek subdivision attended Wednesday’s public hearing before the city council. But many more said they would have shown up.

Councilman Reggie Gaffney Jr. said a wrong date led to confusion.

“The planning department sent the community the wrong dates and the community reached out to me, and I was able to get them the correct dates. We were able to rectify this situation, the community was given additional dates to come out and speak against this Chick-Fil-A,” Gaffney said.

Neighbors told News4JAX they’re concerned about more traffic and keeping the students at First Coast High School safe.

They’re also concerned about people coming into their neighborhood to get to the restaurant.

“If you think that it’s a great idea, it’s a great idea if it’s not the entrance to your neighborhood or any neighborhood. It’s unheard of,” North Creek subdivision resident Roberta Smith said.

The upcoming meetings are scheduled for Feb. 8, 13, and 21. The final vote on the restaurant is scheduled for Feb. 27.

People in the North Creek community, in Oceanway, said they plan to spread the word.

“We would ask for everyone that is opposed to come on out and make your presence known even if you don’t want to speak, show up, and the visual support makes a difference,” a resident said.

The property owner tried to bring a Chick-fil-A to the same area in 2023.

The neighbors opposed it then too, and the city eventually denied the request.

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