Open Letter: to the residents of St Augustine
St Augustine Residents Count
Given the City Commission’s approval of the Cordova Inn PUD (aka Dow PUD) on August 24th, there will be a hotel and tavern in the city’s most restrictive residential zoning district, HP-1.
To the HP-1 residents and supporters who worked so hard to convince the Commission not to approve the commercial-use PUD, we share your disappointment with this decision — not because there will be one more hotel serving tourists, but because, in our opinion, St. Augustine’s Comprehensive Plan, visioning process, and zoning ordinance protections, appear to have been disregarded by the very people elected to defend and implement them.
Of the many individuals who made public comment at the August 24th hearing, 65% spoke against the rezoning for a commercial-use hotel.
Those who spoke in opposition were also actual residents within the city limits.
For residents opposed to this decision to change our city’s zoning ordinance, an appeal could be made to the Judicial Circuit Court of Florida; however, the appeal process is not in the best interests of the city we all love.
Faith that the current Commission will uphold zoning, respect planning and implement a long-term vision, has been seriously undermined.
Without change, there will be similar decisions. Given this reality, there will be a refocus toward potential political support for community-based planning and zoning for the long-term health and vitality of all of St. Augustine.
Thank you to the private citizens who have reached out during this process and have expressed ongoing support for the preservation of residential neighborhoods. Together, we are several hundred strong and growing. May our voices be heard.
For the future, “Protect HP-1” has a new name. We will be known as “St Augustine Residents Count”.
Want to get involved? Please e-mail your contact information to: StAugustineResidentsCount@gmail.com
You can also join our public facebook group, “St Augustine Residents Count“.
Together we can make a difference for our city.
Photo credits: © 2015 Historic City News staff photographer