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Jax Daily Record Monday, Mar. 11, 201904:20 AM EST

New age-restricted community takes step forward in St. Johns

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Plans for Greenbriar Downs along County Road 210 include 818 homes, a golf course and neighborhood commercial development.
by: Scott Sailer Editorial Research Director

Greenbriar Downs, a proposed 818-unit, age-restricted residential community, is a step closer to development in Northwest St. Johns County.

The St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved rezoning Tuesday for the 784-acre mixed-use development at County Road 210 West.

It is restricted to a population older than 18 and is designed to be developed over 20 years.

“Greenbriar Downs is designed to help residents lead an active lifestyle after retirement and allow older adults to remain autonomous by offering specific amenities such as structured activities, socialization, and a sense of community,” said the rezoning application.

WCI Communities LLC, a subsidiary of Lennar Corp., sought to rezone the property to allow the development with an 18-hole golf course, recreational amenities and up to 160,000 square feet of neighborhood commercial space. 

Raydient LLC, a real estate subsidiary of Rayonier Inc., owns the property, between Longleaf Pine Parkway and Greenbriar Road, east of the future Veterans Parkway extension. 

Lennar, which is developing Greenbriar Downs in St. Johns County.

The property has been rezoned from open rural to planned unit development. The companion application for a comprehensive plan amendment sought to change the future land use map from rural/silviculture to residential-B.

The property is split into north and south parcels. 

The southern residential parcel is 729 acres, of which 372 acres will be developed. It will comprise 402 detached and 416 attached dwelling units in a gated community.

It will preserve 356 acres of wetlands. 

The residential parcel will include active and passive recreation including an almost 6-acre community center and golf-oriented uses. The anticipated population will be 1,636 people based on two residents per home. 

A homeowners association or community development district will be created to manage the residential common areas.

The northern 55.4-acre parcel is limited to neighborhood commercial and business uses and will preserve 8.23 acres of wetlands. 

The applicant will donate 6 acres to the county for public uses, such as a park, active recreation, sheriff’s office facility, library and affordable housing.

Developers will provide more than $16 million in transportation mitigation improvements, according to the application.

The development will generate $1.23 million in annual revenue for school operations, which the application notes is with no cost to the school district because the community is age-restricted with no K-12 school-age children.

The applicant proposes to develop the community in two 10-year phases.

The first phase is designed as 200 detached dwelling units and 80,000 square feet of neighborhood commercial.

The second phase will be 202 detached and 416 attached residences and 80,000 square feet of neighborhood commercial.

St. Johns County Special Projects Manager Joseph Cearley said the county commission was concerned about the project initially during the land use amendment transmittal round that was forwarded to the state as a large scale amendment. 

Originally, the development was not age-restricted, which would have had a greater impact on county services and the school system. The developer also originally offered less in transportation mitigation improvements and donations.

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