Letter: Improve neighborhood notice
St Augustine, FL
The current process for notifying the public of hearings and issues affecting neighborhoods has proven to be insufficient to allow for the timely and intended public input.
This was clearly apparent in two recent situations: the Flagler College PUD in HP-3 and the proposed 7-Eleven in North City.
We propose changing the procedure to improve it both for residents and the applicant. An improved notification process would allow for earlier involvement by residents and businesses and the opportunity to resolve potential issues early in the process. This would result in better outcomes for residents, businesses and applicants as well as for the City.
Existing City Code Section 28 requires notification of property owners within one hundred fifty (150) feet of the boundaries of the land upon which comprehensive plan amendment, rezoning, land use plan amendment, exception, variance, conservation overlay zone development or appeal is requested, or within three hundred (300) feet under other specific instances.
We recommend that the City add a requirement for the applicant to also notify the Secretary of the Neighborhood Council of Saint Augustine who will then disseminate the information to the Neighborhood Associations.
Members of the Neighborhood Council are available to work with the City Commission and City Staff on this change. We are making this recommendation in the hope that an improved notification process will result in better meeting the intent of the notice requirements and also improved outcomes for residents, businesses and applicants.
Thank you for your time and consideration.