Members of the Board of Trustees for the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind convened in an emergency meeting today to discuss the flashpoint issue of taking property through a process known as “eminent domain” that has brought tempers in the otherwise peaceful neighborhood surrounding the campus to a rolling-boil.
A House bill introduced this session already made its way through three committees and the Senate companion bill made its way through two. That was before it was intercepted by St Augustine Senator John Thrasher — who told term-limited St Augustine Representative Bill Proctor, who supports the bill, the St Augustine Mayor and St Augustine City Manager, who don’t, to work out their differences.
At their regular meeting on Monday night, the full body of the City Commission gave approval to a proposed settlement for an Interlocal agreement, land licenses, conditions for some zoning concerns and, the big issue, the school’s right to exercise eminent domain if the House and Senate bills are enacted into law.
During this afternoon’s meeting, the members of the Board voted to accept the conditions that the school will never exercise eminent domain to take property in either the Nelmar Terrace or Fullerwood Park Historic Districts. Further, the school will not exercise the controversial process of acquiring property anywhere within the City of St Augustine for a period of 10 years.
Photo credits: © 2012 Historic City News staff photographer