Jacksonville, FL (January 11, 2019) – Councilman Danny Becton had an on-site meeting, as promised, in Baymeadows with City officials and homeowners of the community of Linkside and of D.R. Horton , Inc.’s Senior Vice President, Bob Porter. D.R. Horton is the home builder of a new residential development for 143 single family homes named Meadow Walk. This new development is already underway on the old Baymeadows golf course located off of Baymeadows Circle West outside the Linkside community.
The purpose of the meeting was to address resident’s concerns as presented at the City Council meeting on January 8, where 10 Linkside homeowners addressed the council during public comments over concerns about drainage and site preparation work for the new development behind their homes. Concerns also included information that was recently conveyed to them that plans originally defining a buffer between the new development and their homes were to be changed, eliminating a berm that was to be constructed and landscaped.
After speaking, the residents met with Councilman Becton in the Council’s Green Room whereby he promised to look into the issues and suggested an on-site meeting to clear up the concerns raised. In carrying out his promise, Councilman Becton immediately arranged a meeting for Friday January 11 with city officials.
“The new developments on the old Baymeadows golf course are projects that I have been directly involved with for over 15 years.” Councilman Becton explained. “The concerns for which these residents expressed I have previously engaged the city’s Public Works and Developmental Services leadership in being ‘on notice’ as to making sure that this specific development was being over seen and with priority”. Councilman Becton added. “To that end, they made themselves available immediately to meet and to understand the issues that residents wanted addressed”.
The onsite meeting was held on a Friday afternoon behind the Linkside neighborhood on the construction side of the new development. Approximately 15 residents were able to meet with Councilman Becton, Public Works Chief of Operation, Bill Joyce, Chief of Developmental Services Mike Sands and D.R. Horton representatives including Project Manager, Shane Ricci.
One of the issues addressed at the meeting was the mounds of dirt that have piled up along the property lines due to new road construction. The homeowners wanted to know what was plan for the wall of dirt currently separating their property and the barrier that was to be provided to protect and separate their homes once the road was built.
Other issues included the original plans for a buffer that would build a berm and have tree landscaping to protect the back of resident homes. This buffer was to provide safety and privacy from the nearby roadway that ran up against their property. It was expressed by the contractor that space to build the structure was an issue of not having enough room.
“Having the City decision makers’ onsite was great.” Councilman Becton acknowledged. “As problems and issues were discussed, solutions were offered, debated, and decided, right there on the spot”.
Some ideas of concern they discussed was to replace the berm with the building of a concrete wall and to adjust the room required by allowing the area of roadway to be narrower.
“This section of roadway did not have any home sites, therefore, we all agreed going from 24 feet to 20 feet in width was an acceptable solution,” Councilman Becton stated.
Also, this would allow trees and landscaping to be installed without affecting the sidewalk that ran on the opposite side of the roadway. The original berm was 6ft feet high, but did not create much of a barrier since the road is on a slope. Residents agreed that that they wanted more height, which would help in the protection and sound proofing from cars that they were looking for.
Mr. Porter stated they were months away from laying the final roadway but once the development gets further along, they will all meet again to decide on the aesthetic and details of the wall as it relates to placement and color along with the landscaping.
After they concluded the meeting, Councilman Becton, Mr. Porter, Public Works and the remaining residents also looked at the open area of land on the southern side of the neighborhood. There it was noted by Councilman Becton, that this open space behind the new retention pond could be used as open recreational space for residents, an additional amenity. It was in agreement that future discussions to that use would be discussed.
“The day with residents and city officials was a tremendous success,” Councilman Becton expressed. “Residents left very satisfied that their concerns were taken seriously and solutions were provided, leaving residents with the answers that they were looking for.”
Learn more about D.R. Horton’s development and many other Baymeadows improvements: