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Residents Oppose Boat Storage on Florida Island

Neighbors on Florida’s Anastasia Island are pushing back on a proposed boat, RV and car storage center. The 10-acre site plan includes more than 180 spaces. The development team hosted a public meeting recently to discuss the plans. 

Anastasia Island is a barrier island located off the northeast Atlantic coast of Florida. It sits east of St. Augustine, running north–south in a slightly southeastern direction to Matanzas Inlet. The island is about 14 miles long and an average of 1 mile in width.

The proposed site is located at the corner Mizell Road and 16th street, near three neighborhoods and a bird sanctuary. The landowner said the storage center will benefit the public because people will be able to store their boats closer to home.

“It’s just inconceivable that the group is proposing this plan that is just so incompatible with the area,” said Barbara O’Connor, who lives near the proposed development. 

“I’m just really surprised that they would even propose such a project,” Ed Kierce, who also lives near the proposed development, said. 

The design firm said it is not touching any of the wetlands located within the development, but others are concerned about a nearby bird sanctuary. 

“It’s also going to impact the animals that we’re trying to rehabilitate on that property,” said Mary Foulks of Ark Wildlife bird sanctuary. “Lights will cause a problem for the birds that are rehabbing; it will disorient them.”

Elizabeth Smith, another neighbor, had a potential solution. “Why should we support a zoning change when we would like to see this land preserved?”

The design firm said that it plans to go back to the landowner with some of the feedback it received from neighbors, specifically mentioning the feedback pertaining to the bird sanctuary. 

The firm said it hopes to have the proposal before the St. Johns County Commission sometime in the early spring. 

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