Mayor pleased by commission support for PUD code updates

St Augustine Mayor Nancy Shaver tells Historic City News that the city commission has begun to address what may be one of the most important pieces of work to be accomplished during her first term in office.

With one noted exception, there was support around the table for an amendment to the planned unit development code that includes requiring additional documentation, notifications outside defined neighborhoods, as well as additional public hearings and reviews before the Planning and Zoning Board begins its review.

“Every PUD sparks a tremendous amount of interest and emotion and passion” said the mayor. “This is a foundational piece and it’s incredibly important.”

Only Commissioner Todd Neville voted against the measure, saying, “I think we’re getting into excessive bureaucracy here.”

In light of recent PUD issues before the commission, Shaver urged further modifications, including “something that demonstrates the financial capability of the applicant and more detail on what is the content of each phase.”

Although Mayor Shaver believes that financial strength is an essential element to establishing the ability of a land developer to perform as represented in the application — after a PUD is approved — Planning and Zoning Director David Birchim said checking on the private financial resources of a developer would be difficult.

Shaver is an advocate of best practices and implementation of processes that help administrators achieve the policy goals of the commission. She cited better organization of the PUD application to highlight the five criteria the commission is required to assess.

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