12/14 City commission meeting at a glance

Historic City News was on board for a seven-hour session with the St. Augustine City Commission last night; four hours of which was dominated by a presentation and public hearing on the new Harbor Management Plan.

Also included in last nights marathon meeting was advancement to second reading and public hearing of an ordinance for sidewalk café tables on Aviles Street in January. The plan includes $10 a square foot in permit fees for use of the sidewalk. City Operations Officer John Regan said the plan fits well with an overall $225,000 redesign of the street to draw more pedestrian traffic.

Debates on regulation of vendors setting up outside the now-banned Plaza, including the west garden of Government House, the Ponce Circle and Visitor Center grounds came under fire by Vice Mayor Errol Jones, who unsuccessfully moved for an immediate moratorium on the west garden and Ponce Circle vendors.

Suggestions in the debate included creating a separate market area, possibly at the miniature golf course adjacent to the Bridge of Lions or on the Visitor Center grounds.

City Attorney Ron Brown promised an ordinance in January on current vending around the Plaza, and commissioners approved a resolution giving City Manager Bill Harriss control over uses on the Visitor Center grounds.

Panhandlers near the police station at King and Malaga streets and weekend youth gatherings at the north end of St. George Street were also discussed.

Commissioners denied the appeal of an applicant to establish a hot air balloon ride business on the former Bozard Ford lot on North Ponce de Leon Boulevard, and approved $197,433 for Heritage Department improvements and $107,987 for 450th commemoration development.