“Large grocery” planned for U.S. 98 near West Navarre Primary

Posted on March 14, 2016 by Romi White

A large grocery store and gas station is planned for 18 acres on the north side of U.S. 98 near West Navarre Primary School. And the proposed development could eventually warrant a new traffic signal at Joybrook Road.

David Hightower, representing property owner Titan Venture Management, LLC, told South Santa Rosa News he signed a nondisclosure which will not allow him to divulge information about the brand of grocery or gas station planned for the undeveloped site, which was previously cleared for a failed 2006 project called Villas at Navarre.

The new owner purchased the property for $7 million in February 2008 and last November started the process to request two variances to construct fuel storage within 500 feet of residential zoning and add an additional access to U.S. 98.

Supporting documentation for the application reveals “many” of the county’s fuel storage areas predate the 500-foot requirement. The storage would be built roughly 375 feet from houses on Falling Leaves Court.

At a Nov. 12 pre-application meeting, the Florida Department of Transportation initially supported only an additional driveway to allow ingress, stopping short of also approving it as an egress point onto U.S. 98. But a variance allowing both was approved Feb. 1.

However, Santa Rosa County staff believe allowing the requested variance for an additional entry/exit point “will negatively affect the safety and or operation of the roadway” and support only another point of entry to the property off U.S. 98.

The matter was on the agenda for the March 10 Santa Rosa County zoning board meeting but the variance requests were tabled until the April 14 zoning board meeting.

As for a future traffic signal at the existing median opening at Joybrook Road, per FDOT it would not be constructed until warranted by traffic volume. Analysis will be conducted.

Additionally, there is a planned construction of a right turn lane for both driveway accesses to the site, including a 5-foot bike lane and 5-foot paved shoulder.