Reading today’s reporting of the situation with the previously denied plans for the Bishop’s Building at the corner of St. George Street and Cathedral place, the actual status of the situation between the parties may not be clear.
Historic City News spoke to the office of the City Attorney in an effort to clarify remarks that have appeared in print regarding Gaspit Schechter’s actions since the June 8th City Commission meeting where the plans proposed by Don Crichlow, acting as Schechter’s architect, were denied in a 4-0 vote.
Schechter has filed a Writ of Certiorari; asking a circuit court judge to declare the June 8th commission vote invalid, claiming that he will suffer material injury due to the Commission’s failure to afford him due process, apply the correct law and to act without competent and substantial evidence.
Schechter is represented by local attorney George McClure.
According to the City Attorney’s office, an upcoming meeting between Schechter and his attorney with two members of city staff and the mayor may have been mistakenly characterized as a “mediation”.
The staff meeting that was requested by Schechter is an informal attempt to determine if there is any working solution at hand in the conflict between the city and the property owner — who is intent on building on his property.
No action will be taken at that meeting nor has the date and time been fixed, according to Debra Gibson; speaking for Ron Brown. Consequently, the “meeting”, not “mediation”, is not a public meeting and any suggestions that might evolve would come before the full City Commission at a regular meeting for discussion and a vote.
We left a message with George McClure’s office for additional comments but have not received a response as of the writing of this article.
On March 3rd, the city Planning and Zoning Board conducted a public hearing and unanimously recommended approval of the rezoning being sought by Schechter.
At a workshop that was held on July 6th prior to the regular commission meeting, the Commission intended to take up the issue of architectural style in Historic Preservation areas downtown, however, other topics on the agenda consumed all the available time. The issue is yet to be resolved.
Brown was quoted in a news report as saying, “We’ll see if we can work out (an architectural) style that might work for the city”.