Commission to appoint new Review Board member


300-CITY-HALL-NIGHTS-LIGHTSWhen Grant Misterly reached the end of his maximum term on the Planning and Zoning Board and James McCune decided not to reapply, John Valdes resigned his seat on the Historic Architectural Review Board and was appointed to the PZB; leaving a vacancy for his unexpired term.

Since the resignation, the powerful and influential board, which meets on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 2:00 p.m., has consisted of Chairman Len Weeks, Leslie J Thomas, Paul L Weaver, III and H Randal Roark.

“Since Valdes’ resignation, six applications have been received,” City Clerk Alison Ratkovic told local reporters. “A ballot will be required to determine the single appointee for the seat.”

Candidates who have applied for the appointment include Walter O’Kon, Toni Wallace, Steve Cottrell, Matthew Armstrong, Sean Michael Forrest, and Martha Mickler.

Why is the Historic Architectural Review Board considered so “powerful” and “influential”? The jurisdiction of the Review Board is to act on applications for Certificates of Appropriateness in HP-1 through HP-5; act on applications for building permits on property abutting HP-1 through HP-3; act on all applications for demolition permits for structures 50-years-old, or older, within the City limits; cooperate with governments in planning proposed and future projects reflecting concerns and policies and assist as a consultant in development of future land use plans; advise property owners and government agencies concerning maintenance, protection, enhancement and preservation of historic resources; advise the City Commission concerning effects of local governmental actions on resources designated under the ordinance; recommend issuance of stop work orders when not in compliance; develop rules and procedures necessary to implement powers and duties of the Historic Architectural Review Board, consistent with ordinance; conduct regular public meetings and call special meetings; and designate historic landmarks.

Since it was permanently abandoned by city ordinance on February 21, the Board has also assumed responsibility for hearing appeals presented to the former Entrance Corridor Review Committee.

Because of the opportunity for political corruption, a financial disclosure form must be filed by the appointee with the Supervisor of Elections within thirty days of their appointment, and each year thereafter, throughout their term, and then to file a final form upon their departure from the Board.

Each of the five members serves at the pleasure of the commission for a three-year term which expires, in staggered years, on March 28th. As further protection against investing too much influence into any one member, no member may be appointed for more than two full consecutive terms. Failure to attend two-of-three consecutive meetings, without approval of the chair, shall be considered a resignation of the position.

If you plan to attend, the City Commission Meeting will be held Monday, October 28, beginning at 5:00 p.m. in the Alcazar Room of the City Hall Building located at 75 King Street in St Augustine. You can watch the meeting live on Comcast Government Television channel 3.