Freddy Francis, a Gay man, intended Francis Field for ballfields. He had a semi-pro team in the 1930s and 1940s called the Saints.
Those ballfields were stolen and converted by disgraced ex-City Manager WILLIAM BARRY HARRIS, turning the location of our small town's ballfields into a massive ugly parking garage and a bare naked empty space that hosts carnivals a few times a year, a mediocre monument to what Warren Celli calls "Pig Tourism."
May we have our City of St. Augustine ballfields back, please?
Good article, by Sheldon Gardner:
St. Augustine moves to limit events
By Sheldon Gardner
Posted Mar 9, 2018 at 12:01 AM
Updated at 6:28 AM
St. Augustine Record
The city of St. Augustine is putting in place plans to prohibit any new multi-day events from coming to Francis Field.
While established, long-running events will be allowed to stay, the idea behind the rule on new events and other proposed restrictions is simple: to give residents a breather from traffic and congestion.
City Public Affairs Director Paul Williamson organizes events for the city and helped craft the events resolution that is scheduled to go before commissioners at Monday’s Commission meeting at City Hall. It’s essentially a permanent extension of a two-year events moratorium the city put in place in May 2016, with some changes, he said. It would go into effect May 15 if passed.
“The only [new] thing we’ll see now is single-day events on Francis Field,” Williamson said.
The measure would prohibit events on Francis Field in March and April and from the Saturday before Thanksgiving through Jan. 31 of the following year — those dates don’t prohibit events that were held between Oct. 1, 2016, and Sept. 30, 2017.
That means long-running events such as the St. Augustine Lions Seafood Festival, Rhythm & Ribs and others won’t have to change dates or their location.
That’s good news for event organizers such as Albert Syeles, president of Romanza, the umbrella organization over the St. Augustine Celtic Music & Heritage Festival.
Still, Syeles said there are some things he’d like to see change. Under existing city rules, his organization pays thousands of dollars per event day to help the city deal with traffic impacts from the festival, and he’d like to see the city share half of the cost, he said.
More details from the city of St. Augustine proposed events resolution that’s scheduled to be discussed at Monday’s City Commission meeting (edited for brevity):
Except for events that took place between Oct. 1, 2016, and Sept. 30, 2017, no new events will be allowed on Francis Field on:
• Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday of weekends with a federal holiday on Monday.
• Independence Day and the day before and after.
• The day of and two days before the Daytona 500 in February.
• The Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays of Daytona Beach’s Bike Week in March.
• The Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Daytona Beach’s Biketoberfest in October.
Events in the Plaza de la Constitucion gazebo will be limited to two hours, except for those held between Oct. 1, 2016, and Sept. 30, 2017.
For events in city rights-of-way in areas bounded by Grove Avenue, Mantanzas Bay, Bridge Street and U.S. 1 and events affecting Florida Department of Transportation-maintained roads for more than 15 minutes:
• Athletic events must be on a Saturday or Sunday and may start as early as 6 a.m. but must end use of the right-of-way by 10 a.m. if on Saturday and noon if on Sunday.
• Only two athletic events will be allowed on Sundays each year.
• Parades can start as early as 9 a.m. and must end using rights-of-way by noon on weekdays and Saturdays.
Fees, which don’t include permit fees for parades and processions on St. George Street.
• Events on Francis Field get two free days for moving on and off the field.
• Events that last one or more days on Francis Field will pay $1,000 per event day and $500 per moving day beyond the free days.
• One-day events on Francis Field with less than 2,500 people will pay a use fee of $500 per event day and $250 per moving day beyond the two free days.
• Events that use city rights-of-way for more than an hour will pay $100 for the first hour and $100 for each following hour.
• Francis Field can’t be used for events on consecutive weekends, and no road closures requiring an FDOT permit will be allowed on consecutive days except for Nov. 11 and 12 of this year.
— Sheldon Gardner
“Most of the festivals, it’s going to break their backs,” Syeles said. “It hurts a lot, but we can absorb it.”
He noted that the city’s three major festivals haven’t changed for years, but the population in St. Johns County “has exploded.”
The resolution keeps the city’s position of making big events responsible for traffic impacts.
Events on Francis Field or in city right-of-way that draw more than 1,000 people at any one time after 10 a.m. would be responsible for mitigating traffic congestion caused by the event, according to the events resolution. City employees will work with each event organizer to come up with a mobility plan, and events will be responsible for providing parking for volunteers and vendors and paying for traffic management, such as police officers, according to Williamson.
The resolution touches a series of other event issues, such as scheduling, fees and traffic delays. No event would be allowed that would cause a traffic delay of more than two hours or that would require closing a street for more than two hours, except for events that were held between Oct. 1, 2016, to Sept. 30, 2017, according to the resolution.