PACE — After a Jan. 11 public hearing, Santa Rosa commissioners approved a request by HBL Properties LLC to vacate a portion of Pace Road starting at the corner of the Pace Heights subdivision.

The property group will develop a commercial building and parking lot on a parcel of land they own that comprises five lots: two on Pace Road, one on the corner of Pace Road and West Spencer Field Road, one on the corner of West Spencer Field Road and Plant Avenue and one on Plant Avenue.

Due to this development, Pace Road would not have connectivity with West Spencer Field Road and Highway 90 unless residents drive through the proposed parking lots.

This matter was brought before the board on Dec. 14, but was tabled for further discussion and until supplemental documentation could be provided. The board held a public hearing on the issue at their Thursday meeting, where multiple residents voiced their concerns on the development.

According to county attorney Roy Andrews, the plan submitted by HBL Properties meets all land development and code requirements and provides required access to streets by residents.

John Ellis, a resident of the neighborhood affected by the road vacation, approached the council and expressed concerns about the project.

He said he was worried that future businesses located at the proposed building will eventually close off the parking lot once they become aggravated with residents cutting through to get to their streets.

He was also concerned because driving through a parking lot is against Florida statute.