Historic City News has learned that a permit for a 7-Eleven store and gas pumps at May Street and San Marco Avenue has been denied, with a two-week appeal period ending next Monday, according to a report that appeared in today’s St Augustine Report.
The permit application has been at the center of controversy in the north city neighborhood since first disclosed; including letters of opposition to the land owner, the corporate franchisor, Planning and Building Director Mark Knight, and live picketing of the site.
“This determination to deny the plans is based on Sections 3.1.3 and 3.3.9 of the Design Standards for Entry Corridors,” Knight said in a letter to project Engineer Andrew Peterson.
Knight listed four items in the denial:
•The San Marco driveway is shown to exceed 24 feet in width.
•The San Marco turning radii is not between 10 and 20 feet.
•The wall mounted light fixtures are not compatible with traditional commercial architecture.
•The knee wall does not have a decorative cap and is not composed of concrete and coquina aggregate.
According to The St Augustine Report article, “Peterson, contacted at his Melbourne FL office Tuesday on whether there will be an appeal, referred the inquiry to Charley Carpenter of Creighton Development in Cape Coral, who did not respond to a call.”
Any appeal of this staff decision would go to the Historic Architectural Review Board. The owner of the long vacant property can seek relief and possibly recover damages from the City through a Bert Harris Private Property Protection Act lawsuit.
City Planner David Birchim said of the hundreds of permits issued for the San Marco, King Street and Anastasia Boulevard corridors, only six denials had been contested and those were resolved without going to court.
The Entry Corridor Guidelines were enacted into law in 2003 to preserve the historic character of the entry corridors and discourage major developments, as often occurs in strong tourism cities. Aside from entry corridor concerns, residents and commuters have protested adding more congestion to the already traffic-heavy intersection.