‘Stop the rezoning’: Oceanway residents opposed to Chick-fil-A say other locations don’t use neighborhood entrances

A proposed Chick-fil-A in the Oceanway community continues to get opposition from neighbors in Oceanway who said it would cause a slew of concerns ranging from traffic to safety issues.

Opposing members of the Oceanway community continued their fight against the fast-food giant as some of them attended Tuesday’s city council meeting.

Alan Terry lives about 12 steps away from where the proposed restaurant would go on Lady Lake Road. Terry said other community members have looked at other Chick-fil-A locations in Jacksonville to see if they could find one that used a front entrance to a neighborhood.

RELATED: Despite opposition, Oceanway Chick-fil-A one step closer as the planning commission votes in favor of rezoning

“I don’t know why they would come up with that idea to enter a subdivision to go to a fast food restaurant. It doesn’t make sense,” Terry said.

Chick-fil-A locations in Mandarin and Queens Harbor have been noted as similar to the proposed location in Oceanway.

We visited the Mandarin location on San Jose Boulevard and saw one of the entrances across from a home. The location in Queens Harbor was separated from a residential neighborhood by a wall.

“The one in Queens Harbor is outside the community; it does not connect to the community and the one on Oak Bluff and San Jose has a long stretch of road that leads to another street… it does have homes on it, but it is not the entrance to a community,” Christopher Medick said.

Roberta Smith, a North Creek resident, said none of those locations use a neighborhood entrance as a way for customers to gain access to the restaurant.

“It’s not about Chick-fil-A, it’s about to stop the rezoning of this property because it’s been rezoned three times, it does not need to be rezoned anymore,” Smith said.

Smith says with those three rezonings the same result happens every time.

“If they pass the rezoning and the traffic study shows there’s way too many cars then that zoning sits there and as stated during the meeting nine years later, we’re going to be sitting right here again. We don’t want to do that. Stop the rezoning.”

MORE: Fast-food Feud: Community group to recommend against Chick-fil-A project in Oceanway; city planners to urge approval

Medick said while his neighbors have brought up traffic and safety concerns during public hearings, his concern is that the rezoning is at odds with what the 2045 Jacksonville Comprehensive Plan said about the city preventing nonresidential traffic from entering a residential neighborhood.

“No one is opposed to another concept being put on that piece of property. What we are opposed to is our neighborhood entrance being used to funnel traffic to whatever property goes there,” Medick said.

During the meeting, several city council members noted that they had visited the property or had meetings with residents.

“Well, not only the fact that they go out there, they took the time to talk to us and our concerns and they’re not even our councilmen. So them coming out there, walking the property with us and us showing what all our concerns were, I mean what more could you ask for?” Smith said.

News4JAX reached out to Chick-fil-A about the rezoning and did not immediately heard back.

The next meeting for the rezoning will be on Feb. 21.

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