Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Developers lose another Commission vote re: Palm Valley
PRINCE DOUG BURNETT, deeply conflicted lawyer for City of St. Augustine Beach and developers, whose leaving his SAB gig. BURNETT was the lawyer for the ruling landowning classes, and lost another unanimous vote in St. Johns County Commission December 15th, unanimously, with Commissioners listening to some thirty residents and denying a massive tall ugly project.
Another victory over greedy developers ruining our community.
County turns down Palm Valley Road development
Posted: December 15, 2015 - 11:34pm | Updated: December 15, 2015 - 11:46pm
By SHELDON GARDNER
A proposal to bring an independent living facility to Palm Valley Road received opposition from most of those who commented on the project at the St. Johns County Commission meeting on Tuesday.
Residents turned out to voice concern about traffic and the development’s potential impact on the community’s character, and the proposal drew more than 30 public comments.
Some county commissioners said the development was attractive but was proposed for the wrong place, and they unanimously turned down variances requested for the project.
Developers proposed a Resort Lifestyle Communities independent living facility at 4410 Palm Valley Road, a roughly 8-acre site near a YMCA and Alice B. Landrum Middle School, according to county documents. The proposal called for 124 units, a cafeteria, recreation space and entertainment space and other features for the proposed retirement community.
Variance requests were before the commission from Palm Valley Overlay District regulations, and one request was for a Zoning Variance for height.
The zoning variance called for a maximum height of 48 feet for part of the project instead of the 35-feet maximum allowed in coastal areas. The Planning and Zoning Agency recommended 4-1 in November to deny that variance.
Another variance request included allowing a building to be up to 1,100 feet long, greater than 120-foot maximum.
Another part of the request was to allow greater gross floor area — about 19,770 square feet per acre — than the allowed 10,000 square feet per acre maximum.
The Palm Valley Architectural Review Committee recommended approval of those two and other exceptions with a 3-1 vote in November, according to the county.
Representatives for the project argued it would not have a major impact on traffic. But public comment focused on how the development would change character of the neighborhood and increase the impact on already stressed roadways.
“Regardless of zoning, regardless of the other pieces, it doesn’t fit,” said Brian Hurdis, a Palm Valley resident who spoke at the meeting. “It’s not compatible. It’s oversized. And it’s definitely going to change the dynamics of what we have in that area, which we already know is congested, and it’s only going to get worse over time.”
Commissioners also voiced concerns, including Jay Morris, who opposed the variances and questioned plans to allow short-term stays at the facility.
“This is definitely contrary, in my opinion, to the public interest,” Morris said.
A representative for Resort Lifestyle Communities said less than 50 percent of residents typically have a car, and the average length of stay at the facilities is 7 to 10 years.
Commission Vice Chair Jimmy Johns supported the idea for the project but said it should conform to existing rules and regulations.
“It does not fit in this location,” he said.
Douglas N. Burnett, attorney for the project, argued that traffic for the facility would be low compared to other options for the site. The project would also not pose a need for added seats in schools and would increase the county’s tax base at the same time, he said.
sponger2 12/16/15 - 05:49 am 30So look at that!
So the brain trust (they call themselves commissioners, or even worse "public servants") didn't vote to increase noise, traffic, and overcrowding at this critical juncture where the residents have just been taxed to pay for the infrastructure to provide schools and roads while the developers who's responsibility it was to do so are running off to the banks with suitcases full of money. How refreshing. This will last till after they secured more booty in the form of big development contributions to ensure their continued tenure in office. Then the tempo of disregard for their constituents will increase again.
martystaug 12/16/15 - 07:56 am 30Walking distance
When I reach the point that I no longer drive and require a little assistance, I will want to be walking distance to all of those places and venues that I have always enjoyed. So why try to stick this facility out in a commuting community? Put it downtown. Instead of some high-end PUD or boutique hotel, lets let some of our senior citizens stay mobile and enjoy all that our historic district has to offer. And since they are probably hard-of-hearing the noise won't disturb them. Oh, what's that I hear, its not profitable enough? Maybe we can charge them a bed-tax.
Firstcoaster 12/16/15 - 08:50 am 10It's ironic
that the brain trust voted no on a development that would have zero impact on schools. What happened, didn't someone pay to play?