Monday, June 12, 2017

Stop MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC. Destruction of St. Augustine's Historic District -- Come Speak at July 10, 2017 City Commission Meeting

Perhaps a boycott by historic preservationists worldwide --- and an FBI investigation -- will persuade MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC. to pull the plug from this abortion.  Cheeky developer mouthpiece JAMES GEORGE WHITEHOUSE was overheard telling his client tonight, "It's all over." Don't bet on it.  St. Augustine defeated an unwanted 7-Eleven at May & San Marco, just up the street from the too-big MARRIOTT that greedy developer KANTI PATEL seeks to inflict on St. Augustine with materially false and misleading testimony ignored by maladroit, mendacious City Manager JOHN PATRICK REGAN, P.E., a louche lapdog for developers.

Will FBI investigate KANTI PATEL and MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC. false testimony to euchre City Commission to enact Planned Unit Development ordinance that would destroy our historic area in Our Nation's Oldest City? What do you reckon?

Here's the latest from Captain Lee Geanuleas, U.S.N. (Ret.) and St. Augustine Residents Count:

Well, after being provided with indisputable evidence that city staff provided the PZB and Commission very, very bad data on the San Marco Hotel and multiple statements verifying that the PZB based their denial decision on competent, substantial evidence and used the right law, our City Commission (with the notable exception of the Mayor) gave a collective shrug of their shoulders and sent an unmistakable message that "WE JUST DON"T CARE."
Commissioners Neville, Sikes-Kline and Horvath (Freeman was absent) didn't care that the parking numbers given to the PZB were wildly wrong. They didn't care that the occupancy number for the ballroom was off by 250% (yes, you read that correctly). They didn't care that the developer had overstated the area available for surface parking lots. They didn't care that our Planning & Building Director couldn't come close to giving them a firm number for the hotel's required parking (think of this as "Planning 101"). They didn't care that they, the commissioners, were proven incorrect when they claimed at the appeal hearing that the PZB didn't base their denial on code. They didn't care that a method for calculating parking changed by a factor of 10 from what they were told by David Birchim in June 2015 WITH NO EXPLANATION. They didn't care that the developer lied to the city about why he couldn't build the underground garage. They didn't care that the city staff told them the hotel restaurant would seat 50 when the real number was 130. They didn't care that the tunnel drawings that show major changes to the hotel's design were done, not by a REAL ARCHITECT, but by a LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT.
What did they care about, you ask?
Their major concern was that some of the 36 neighborhood response forms returned for the appeal hearing were from some residents who didn't technically live within the 150 ft radius for being an officially "affected neighbor." This was very, very important to Neville and Sikes-Kline in particular.
Well, glad to see our elected leaders know how to focus on what's really important. And just because Freeman wasn't there, doesn't mean she cares. She just didn't get a chance to demonstrate how little she cares tonight.
And we have to mention John Regan, the City Manager. When presented with unquestionable evidence that his staff (HIS STAFF) screwed up, do you think he stood tall and took responsibility and identified corrective action to the group that allegedly provides him oversight? Not a chance. Our City Manager didn't say a word all night. Doesn't having "manager" in your title imply some sort of management function? Guess not...
HUGE shout out to PZB Chairman Matt Shaffer who spoke on the record and stated his belief that the PZB got it right. Wow! Now that's leadership! Maybe John Regan was taking notes?
Second Reading (Public Hearing) is set for July 10th. You think there's any chance Horvath, Sikes-Kline, Neville and Freeman might care four weeks from now?

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