The Jacksonville Planning Commission recommended approval Aug. 6 to change the land use and zoning of 1.26 acres at Riverside Avenue and Memorial Park Drive for the Riverside Village mixed-use redevelopment.
The property near the St. Johns River and Memorial Park comprises five parcels with four office and residential buildings in the Urban Transition Area of the Riverside/Avondale Zoning Overlay. The parcels are at 1541 and 1551 Riverside Ave, 1715 and 1721 Memorial Park Drive and 1729 Memorial Park Terrace. No new buildings or expansions are proposed.
The property owner is Shiavone Properties Inc., led by Frank Schiavone.
Ordinance 2020-0332 would amend the land use from residential-professional-institutional to neighborhood commercial to allow redevelopment with residential and low intensity commercial retail and service uses.
Companion Ordinance 2020-0333 would rezone the property from commercial residential office to planned unit development.
The PUD would increase the number of allowable restaurant seats to more than 60; permit on-site alcohol consumption; limit hours for outside sales and service; and prohibit outside amplified music.
The project proposes seven apartment units at 1541 Riverside Ave.; a 225-seat restaurant with up to 25 outside seats at 1551 Riverside Ave.; a 120-seat restaurant and two apartment units at 1721 Memorial Park Drive; and two apartment units at 1729 Memorial Park Terrace.
The Planning and Development Department recommends approval, noting “the rezoning is substantially consistent with the Overlay district regulations.”
Nearby homeowners and a representative of Riverside/Avondale Preservation raised concerns about increased traffic, lack of parking and pedestrian and bicycle safety. They also questioned allowing multifamily units and the number of seats proposed for the two restaurants.
The applicant, attorney Paul Harden and associate Alexander Harden, said the parking meets the required minimum. Harden added that multifamily is a permissible use in the underlying CRO zoning and there will be limited operating hours and no outside amplified music.
Commissioner Daniel Blanchard said the Planning Commission is to decide about the use and will defer to staff on the number of allowable restaurant seats.
Commissioner Ian Brown said “this is a smart development largely as-built” mixed-use project. Brown, a Riverside resident, said the project is “a plus for the neighborhood that is the most walkable pedestrian neighborhood in Jacksonville.”
“The benefits of this project is it keeps these buildings,” commission Chair Josh Garrison said.
Additional changes to details of the development can be made as it moves to the Land Use and Zoning Committee and full Council, Garrison said.
Zoning exceptions and waivers
The Planning Commission approved zoning exceptions and waivers for:
• Flamingo Lake RV Resort Inc., through Sun TRS Flamingo LLC, at 3640 Newcomb Road northwest of Lem Turner Road and Interstate 295, to serve and sell beer and wine for on-premise consumption at a restaurant and for off-premise consumption from the camp store in the recreation open space zoning district.
• Jax Crab LLC, doing business as Red Crab Seafood Restaurant, at 10111 San Jose Blvd., No. 16, in Crown Point Plaza, a commercial community/general-1 zoning district, to serve all alcoholic beverages for on-premise consumption in conjunction with a restaurant in the former location of Tijuana Flats. A companion waiver of minimum liquor distance was approved to reduce the distance from 500 feet to 62 feet from the Jacksonville Jewish Center at 3362 Crown Point Road.
• Rita D’s LLC at 1440 Dunn Ave., No. 19, in the Dunn Avenue Plaza, to serve all alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption in commercial community/general-1 zoning. A companion waiver of minimum liquor distance was approved to reduce the distance from 1,500 feet to 1,378 feet from the New Birth United Brethren Church at 10841 Biscayne Blvd.
• Ducky Austin Karaoke LLC, doing business as Austin Karaoke, at 5161 Beach Blvd. to serve beer and wine for on-premise consumption and not in conjunction with a restaurant in commercial community/general-2 zoning. A companion waiver of minimum liquor distance was approved to reduce the distance from 1,500 feet to 730 feet from the New Bethel African Methodist Church at 5031 Halls Drive.
• Pruthvi Patel at 6001 Argyle Forest Blvd., No. 2, in the Argyle Village Shopping Plaza, for a liquor store to sell all alcoholic beverages for off-premise consumption. The shopping center had two previous exceptions approved for the same purpose.
• George Makhlouf at 2625 N. Main St. and East 17th Street for a waiver of minimum liquor distance for a liquor store in commercial community/general-2 zoning, to reduce the distance from 500 feet to 404 feet from the New Mount Canan Baptist Church at 36 W. 18th St.
Land use amendments and rezoning recommendations
The Planning Commission recommended approval for land use and zoning changes for:
• Ordinance 2020-0338, which seeks a small-scale land use amendment on 0.61 acres at 8337 Alton Ave., northwest of Alton Avenue and Bowlan Street North. It would change from community/general commercial to medium density residential to allow JWB Real Estate Capital to develop four single-family homes. Companion Ordinance 2020-0339 would rezone from commercial, residential and office to residential medium density-A.
• Ordinance 2020-0343, which seeks to rezone18.34 acres at 3744 Jones Road, between Lockwood and Bearden roads on the Westside. It would change from residential rural-acre to residential low density-60 to increase allowable density. The property land use is low density residential.
Land use amendments and rezoning require approval by the Land Use and Zoning Committee and then full Council.