Planning Commission recommends approval of Melcon Farm in Mandarin

The developer of the 37-lot subdivision offers to donate and relocate the historic farmhouse.

  • By Scott Sailer
  • | 12:30 p.m. September 18, 2020
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The Henry C. Arpen Farmhouse was built in 1877 and added to the Federal Historic Register in August 2019.
The Henry C. Arpen Farmhouse was built in 1877 and added to the Federal Historic Register in August 2019.
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The Jacksonville Planning Commission recommended approval Sept. 17 to rezone 16.79 acres for the Melcon Farm single-family community in Mandarin.

Weihnacht Revocable Family Living Trust, the property owner, seeks to rezone the property from residential rural-acre to planned unit development to allow smaller residential lots, a minimum of 80 feet wide and 9,600 square feet in area.

The property at 3320 O’Connor Road, between Cattail Drive South and Hagan Grant Lane, is an infill residential development surrounded by existing residential use. The zoning is sought through Ordinance 2020-0307.

The site plan for the Melcon Farm single-family community in Mandarin.
The site plan for the Melcon Farm single-family community in Mandarin.


Jacksonville developer Michael Danhour, president of the Danhour Group LLC, plans to develop the property with 37 lots in a single phase starting in early 2021.

The name of the development comes from previous owners of the property. 

“Given the nature and history of the parcel, we felt keeping the name was not only homage, but would also help to maintain the flavor the project was working to capture,” Danhour said in April. Melcon Farm is bordered by The Wilderness PUD subdivision of 80- to 95-foot-wide lots to the west; the Cormorant Landing subdivision featuring 100-foot-wide lots to the north; and land zoned for single-family residential rural-acre requiring minimum 100-foot-wide lots and one acre in size to the south and east. 

The Henry C. Arpen Farmhouse was built in 1877 and added to the Federal Historic Register in August 2019.
The Henry C. Arpen Farmhouse was built in 1877 and added to the Federal Historic Register in August 2019.

A conceptual site plan submitted with the rezoning application shows some deeper lots bordering properties to the south to provide a transition in size.

Property records show two single-family homes on the property. One is the split-level Henry C. Arpen Farmhouse of 1,360 square feet, built in 1877. It was placed on the Federal Historic Register in August 2019. 

The developer is offering to donate and relocate the historic farmhouse within Jacksonville or on a lot near the entrance of the community. The exterior will require extensive repairs to the foundation, roof and siding, Danhour said.

The second home is a split-level 2,960-square-foot home built in 1976. The developer may leave the house in place on lot 28.

Although not required by the city review process, Danhour contracted for a professional ecological assessment from TerraWorx Land Group Inc. The report found no protected species or their habitat on the property. 

Zoning exceptions

The Planning Commission approved zoning exceptions for:

• Wawa, through BW Baymeadows Way LLC, at 8742 Baymeadows Road, southeast of Baymeadows Way and Baymeadows Road, to allow outside sales and service for the proposed convenience store, gas station and restaurant. A companion administrative deviation application will allow the number of proposed parking spaces to increase from 42 to 54.

• Q’Delicia restaurant at 3980 Southside Blvd., No. 201, in the Wild Plum Plaza shopping center north of Hogan Road, to allow sales and service of all alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption in conjunction with a restaurant.

• Impact Christian Academy Inc. school at 9100 Regency Square Blvd. N., west of Southside Boulevard, to allow a private school for 200 students in a commercial community/general-1 zoning district. The property has operated as a school since 1988 and the Seacoast Christian Academy serving 300 students most recently occupied the property. Impact Christian Academy plans a temporary use of the property during build-out of space in the former Belk department store at Regency Square Mall.

•  Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. at 11700 San Jose Blvd. in the Mandarin South Shopping Center, south of Loretto Road, to allow the retail sale of all alcohol for off-premise consumption. Winn-Dixie is returning to the location it previously occupied, but was most recently used by Earth Fare, which closed.

• BBQ Barn at 14017 Mount Pleasant Road, between Pleasantview Drive East and Mauva Juan Avenue, to allow the retail sale and service of beer and wine and outside sales and service in conjunction with a restaurant.

Land use amendments and rezoning recommendations

The Planning Commission recommended approval for land use and zoning changes for:

• Ordinance 2020-0512, which seeks a land use amendment on 5 acres owned by Myrick Logistics Inc., southwest of New Kings and Dinsmore Tower roads. It would change from multiple use to light industrial to allow light industrial development.

• Ordinance 2020-0513, which seeks a land use amendment on 0.24 acres at 1750 Boulder St., between St. Augustine Road and Fleet Street. It would change from low density residential to community general commercial to allow the Affordable Granite business at 3462 St. Augustine Road to continue using the property for outside storage and parking. Companion Ordinance 2020-0514 seeks to change the zoning on the property and four adjacent parcels comprising 0.83 acres at 3462, 3466, 3470 and 3478 St. Augustine Road for property owner RAM Partners Holdings LLC from low density residential, commercial community/general-2 and PUD-1996-1040 to PUD to unify the zoning and allow outside storage for general trades contractors and other commercial uses.  

• Ordinance 2020-0515, which seeks to rezone 7.04 acres along the north side of Normandy Boulevard, east of Chaffee Road South. It would change from residential low density-60 to residential medium density-A.

The Planning Commission recommended denial for zoning changes for:

• Ordinance 2020-0334, which seeks a small-scale land use amendment on 0.49 acres at 719 E. Union St., northeast of Ionia and East Union streets. It would change from medium density residential to light industrial to allow Azar Industries Investments LLC, a legal nonconforming use to continue operating and expand Azar & Co., a sausage manufacturer at the location since 2008. The historical use of the property has housed industrial and commercial uses since the building’s construction in 1942, which abuts an abandoned railroad right of way to the east and single-family homes to the north. Companion Ordinance 2020-0335 would rezone the property from residential medium density-A to industrial light. 

In the previous meetings addressing the ordinances, the commission voted to defer the items, suggesting the zoning change to industrial light would have potential negative impacts to adjacent residential use properties and recommended the zoning be changed to PUD to limit the potential uses on the property. The commission cited industrial light property uses could include the bulk storage of flammable liquids and acids, heavy construction equipment and recycling facilities.

Land use amendments and rezonings require approval by the City Council Land Use and Zoning Committee and then full Council approval.



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