Long night for City Commission

Historic City News is reporting a marathon meeting at City Hall last night that lasted until after 9:30 p.m.

The public hearing for a proposed turn-of-the-century styled commercial building at St. George Street and Cathedral Place replicating the Bishop’s Building that stood there from 1897 to the early 1960’s, consumed two hours of the meeting and drew considerable public comment.

Attorney Charles “Ted” Pellicer, son of X. L. Pellicer, made an impassioned plea, speaking for himself and his late father, for the commissioners to carefully consider the city’s vision of it’s historic style. “If you’re ever going to hold the line on HP districts, this is the time to do it.”, Pellicer said.

Raymond Conner, a lifelong St. Augustine resident, was one of several residents who asked the city to withhold approval of the plans for the new hotel as submitted.

Residents’ concerns with parking and crowding in the area as well as the adjacent property owner’s concerns with window blockage were aired before the commission but the question of historic style loomed largest as commissioners voted unanimously to table their decision until their June 8 meeting.

The Bishop’s Building hearing was one of six that consumed more than half the commission’s 5-hour meeting.

The tally at the end of the night as recapped by Former Mayor and Commissioner George Gardner in the St. Augustine Report today included:

  • approval of temporary modular units for the Boys and Girls Club at Chase Field
  • a modified plan for Whispering Creek Town Center
  • a 5-year capital improvement schedule
  • a St. Augustine Foot Soldiers Civil Rights monument in the Plaza
  • new landscape irrigation restrictions
  • Commissioners also reappointed veteran Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB) member Paul Weaver to replace Dana Ste. Claire who is now interim director of our 450th anniversary.

    The commission approved setbacks to allow parking in front of commercial buildings along US 1, a fee structure for service vendor parking permits in resident-only parking areas, revisions to our landscape code and a Lincolnville Community Garden.

    A proposal to reduce Avenida Menendez from four to three lanes along the bayfront was included in a report on recent lobbying in Washington to wrap up the long commission session.

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