St. Johns County Commission rejects intermodal exchange facility project

Alaimo fills vacant seat on board

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The St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners unanimously rejected a requested change to the future land use map that could have opened the door to construction of an intermodel exchange facility at 2772 County Road 214.

The 214.13-acre property is owned by Quarter Cav LLC, and the managing member is Roy H. Hinman II. The owner also filed a companion application for a rezoning of the property from residential-B to industrial warehousing.

The owner was seeking to build a facility with rail access to the Florida East Coast railway with 900,000 square feet of warehouse, intermodal terminal uses and a commuter rail service. The rail line borders the property on its southeastern side.

The applicant contended that the commuter rail service would alleviate traffic impacts in the county and submitted findings of an economic impact study suggesting that the project would support more than 3,000 jobs, generate $137 million in annual earnings and contribute $374 million to the GDP.

The facility would have consisted of 850,000 square feet of warehousing space and a 50,000-square-foot intermodal truck terminal.

Members of the public spoke alternately in favor of the project and against it. Some, including commissioners who denied the project, supported the concept but not its location, which would have moved truck traffic onto a two-lane road. More than one person objected to the property having no direct connection to Interstate 95.

Commissioner Henry Dean called it a good project, “a project the county needs as far as jobs and as far as economic development.”

However, he said, “I find this project to be incompatible, without question, with the surrounding neighborhoods.”

He pointed out that, in addition to C.R. 214, the roads in that immediate network — Alan Nease Road to the west and Holmes Boulevard to the east — were two-lane.

Trucks from the site, he said, would create a safety hazard.

In other business, Roy Alaimo took the oath to fill the vacant District 3 seat on the board. Alaimo was appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis following the death in October of Commissioner Paul Waldron.

Alaimo previously served as the chair of the St. Johns County Planning and Zoning Agency. He will serve on the board until the 2024 election.

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