Busy meeting for City Commissioners Monday

Historic City News has learned that Monday’s City Commission meeting will open with a public hearing on architectural style in the historic district and close with commissioners discussing a proposed building at St. George Street and Cathedral Place that ignited the style debate.

More modern concerns will be tackled in between, including reports from Chief Operations Officer John Regan on flooding on the east side of the Bridge of Lions and on King Street at the San Sebastian Bridge.

The commission will also hear from Colonial St. Augustine Foundation President Hal Holton on the non-profit’s plans for restoration of monuments in the Plaza de la Constitution.

City Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline said of Monday’s public hearing, “It’s important that people attend this meeting and speak their minds. Our city belongs to all of us – we all have a stake in it.”

Maurine Boles, who has been long active in historic interpretation programs, hand-delivered copies of vintage scenes of St. Augustine to local neighborhoods to encourage attendance.

After the commission rejected a proposal to reprise of the turn of the 20th century brick “Bishop’s Building” at St. George Street and Cathedral Place, the applicant sued, and Mayor Boles was designated to represent the commission in mediation discussions.

Commissioner Leanna Freeman has requested that there be a discussion at the end of Monday’s meeting because she wants to make sure Boles hears other commissioners’ sentiments as he enters the mediation.

Commissioner Don Crichlow is the man-in-the-middle; as a commissioner, he’ll be part of the public hearing on architectural style and as architect for the Bishop’s Building proposal, he won’t be part of the later discussion.

The Bishop’s Building plan resulted in commission nullification of a 2003 resolution that allowed building styles of any era in the historic core, previously restricted to Spanish Colonial.
Commissioners appear to agree that Historic Preservation District 3 – the area north of Hypolita Street – should be colonial and that Historic Preservation District 1 – the area south of King Street – should allow styles in keeping with surroundings.

Historic Preservation District 2 is expected to be Monday’s focus – the area that has gone through continued style revision over the last four centuries.

Monday’s meeting begins at 5 p.m. in the Alcazar room at City Hall.

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