June Park residents, Brevard officials oppose U.S. 192 apartment … – Florida Today

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Amid fierce opposition from residents of the rural community of June Park, a Tampa Bay landowner and developer have withdrawn their plan to construct a 186-apartment complex next to Kane’s Furniture off U.S. 192.
The landowner, Kanes Furniture LLC of Pinellas Park, proposed to rezone 12.6 wooded acres to the east and south of the store to allow construction of six three-story apartment buildings. This land is zoned today to permit construction of up to 58 homes — so, if approved, the rezoning would have allowed 128 more residences.
But June Park residents rallied against the apartments, arguing the high-density housing project made a poor fit for their peaceful neighborhood of primarily ¼-acre lots.
The Brevard County Planning and Zoning Board unanimously recommended denial of the rezoning on Jan. 9. During that meeting, June Park resident Brenda Foxx delivered 706 petition signatures opposing the project.
“We want to show our entire county and, hell — excuse my expression — the entire state that we still have a voice. That we’re a neighborhood that sticks together,” Foxx said Saturday, standing on a picnic table at Police Foundation Park during a community meeting triggered by the proposal.
“And that we are going to go to the commissioner’s office, and we’re going to show them that we don’t want this here. And we’re going to do everything to fight it and stop it,” Foxx said.
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The Planning and Zoning Board advises the Brevard County Commission on development matters, and the County Commission was expected to cast decisive votes on the apartment complex on Feb. 2. But instead, the landowner and the developer, Terwilliger Brothers Residential of St. Petersburg, withdrew their rezoning application Tuesday.
County Commission Vice Chair Kristine Zonka opposed the 186-unit apartment complex proposal. She represents District Five, which includes June Park and surrounding areas of Melbourne, West Melbourne, Palm Bay and Melbourne Village.
“In its current form, I don’t support the project. I don’t think the apartment design that they have is compatible with the neighborhood. That’s the bottom line,” Zonka said.
“Single-family homes or low-density development would be more appropriate,” she said.
June Park is an unincorporated community of more than 4,000 residents just outside West Melbourne. June Park lies south of U.S. 192, east of Interstate 95, and west of Minton Road. The proposed apartment site is about 525 feet west of West Melbourne city limits.
Terwilliger Brothers Residential was seeking rezoning to build Melbourne Place, a gated development with 186 apartments and a pool, clubhouse, fitness center, media-game room, grilling area with outdoor seating, and dog park.
“It’s not the intent to harm the neighbors. It’s the intent to build an apartment complex to serve the community and the needs of the community,” Kim Rezanka, an attorney representing Kanes Furniture and Terwilliger Brothers Residential, told the Planning and Zoning Board on Jan. 9.
However, more than 100 June Park residents packed that meeting to oppose the apartment complex, generating roughly 1½ hours of public comment.
“I do not see it being compatible. It’s far too dense for the area, with your roosters and your cows — and your new coyote friends,” Planning and Zoning Board Vice Chair Ben Glover told residents.
Glover said the southern section of the 12.6-acre property, away from U.S. 192, should remain zoned for single-family homes.
“Roads, drainage, traffic, sewer: It simply doesn’t matter. It’s just not a compatible use for this land,” Glover said of the apartment complex.
In June 1999, Kanes Furniture Corp. entered into a binding development plan with the County Commission in order to build the store fronting U.S. 192. That plan said the developer-owner “will construct no buildings or parking on the southwest portion of the property.”
The landowner and developer had asked the County Commission to delete that 1999 binding development plan before withdrawing their application Tuesday.
Brenda Osborne has lived in June Park since 1990. In a Dec. 29 email to Zonka, Osborne asked her to object to the apartment complex.
“I love the peace and quiet here and would rather not have 300+ vehicles added to this area. Plus lighting and an entrance right in front of my home,” Osborne said in the email.
“I sit on my front porch and watch all wild animals that live in the land across from me. I have seen lots of turtles, wild hogs, hawks, different species of birds, even had an alligator living back in there,” she said.
Rick Neale is the South Brevard Watchdog Reporter at FLORIDA TODAY (for more of his stories, click here.) Contact Neale at 321-242-3638 or rneale@floridatoday.com. Twitter: @RickNeale1
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