Wednesday, July 29, 2015

DOW PUD Unanswerable Questions: Public Hearing August 24, 2015

Thank you, Mayor Shaver, Vice Mayor Horvath, Commissioners Freeman and Sikes-Kline, for asking tough questions.  Commissioner Todd Neville might just as easily have had a sign over his forehead, saying "I'd rather be sailing." (The odd man out, the CYA CPA, who does not deny that he sups with DAVID BARTON CORNEAL's son weekly).

City Commissioners July 27th peppered four feisty CORNEAL court dogs -- fired City Planning and Building Director MARK ALAN KNIGHT, City Planning and Building Director DAVID BIRCHIM, ROGERS-TOWERS partner ELLEN AVERY-SMITH and DAVID CORNEAL's project manager, MICHAEL A. CONROY -- with a series of seemingly insurmountable hurdles and unanswerable questions, "a high bar," while passing the ordinance to actual sworn testimony at a second public hearing on August 24, 2015:

1.  Why is the tax exemption on the Planned Unit Development (PUD) document, when the tax exemption application was withdrawn?  (Nancy Sikes-Kline).
MARK KNIGHT: "We did not want the agendas cluttered up."

2.  Where's the parking?  There are no documents.  (Nancy Shaver and Leanna Freeman).
ELLEN AVERY SMITH:  CORNEAL does not want to disclose it publicly, because "residents… scared" people agreeing to provide parking.  Commissioner Leanna Freeman said it was a "huge deal," that documents must be provided.   Architect Vice Mayor Roxanne Horvath stated that a three year lease is "not a long term lease." Commissioner Freeman stated that "valet parking" 3-4 blocks away is inadequate. 

3. Where's the compliance with existing standards for hotels? Or exceeding those standards? (Nancy Shaver, et al.)  Sitting two seats from me, CORNEAL court dog, PM and GC MICHAEL A. CONROY, visibly and audibly exasperated, exclaimed: "Jesus!" (Earlier, one of CORNEAL's eleven deluded dim-bulb corny court dogs claimed falsely, without being sworn, there would be no laundry trucks and no delivery trucks.  Huh?!).

4.  What happens if promised parking no longer exists?  (Vice Mayor Roxanne Horvath).  "Code enforcement," replied dodgy City Attorney ISABELLE LOPEZ.  (It's a joke, with pitifully small fines by state law, you will kindly recall from the September 25, 2014 destruction of Don Pedro Fornells House by ex-Mayor CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, Jr., longtime business partner and law client of ex-Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR.: LEN WEEKS was fined $3600 by the Code Enforcement Board on November 12, 2014, after which he was hugged by LOPEZ, who hired an inept contract-attorney to "prosecute" LEN WEEKS without cross-examination).

5.  Why does CORNEAL's PUD application have both its own zoning category and historic preservation district HP-1? (Mayor Shaver).  To allow construction of apartments in two of the eight surviving buildings, said ELLEN AVERY SMITH and MICHAEL A. CONROY.  "Hedging his bets," muttered Commissioner TODD NEVILLE.

6.  The City's approval of the homes'  museum use was a "big deal," Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline said, and anything beyond that would be an even  bigger one.  No one disagreed.

7.  Commissioner Freeman said it was a "red flag" and Mayor Shaver said it was "puzzling" why CORNEAL proposed apartments.

8.  A land planner educated at UF, Commissioner Sikes-Kline said the internal circulation plan was poorly articulated and "not taken very seriously."  Sitting two seats from me, CORNEAL PM CONROY exclaimed, "My God!"

9.  Commissioner Sikes-Kline, a longtime historic preservationist who helped save our Bridge of Lions, raised the issue of Prince Murat House, asking how the PUD would educate anyone about history.

10.  Commissioner Freeman, an attorney, said she did not mind moving the PUD to a second hearing, but that it would face a "high bar."

11.  Mayor Shaver wanted to move to remand to PUD, based upon "extraordinarily weak" written  documentation, "extremely weak" on answering PUD ordinance questions, an utter lack of evidence on parking, and a lack of support for a "change in zoning" in the Nation's Oldest City's "oldest and most established" neighborhood.  Commissioner Sikes-Kline agreed, saying there was a "lack of detail and specificity."  Mayor Shaver asked, "do we want to go to a second reading based on wishes and promises?"

12. CONROY, admitted that "Money is tight….," later expanding: "we're running tight on money" CORNEAL spent more than $600,000 on 102 Bridge Street, the former M&M Market (former home of Thomas Jefferson's great-granddaughter).  CORNEAL needs some approximately $15,000/month from nine (9) rentals to pay for historic renovations.   Thus, CONROY admitted, CORNEAL is undercapitalized.

13. Stating the bleeding obvious, as the DOW PUD lay in shreds, DAVID BARTON  CORNEAL lawyer ELLEN AVERY-SMITH admitted, "We have not fleshed out the details."

The vote to have an actual public hearing, with sworn testimony, was only 3-2, with Mayor Shaver and Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline voting no. 

At the August 24, 2015 hearing, expect questions of CORNEAL, ex-Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, Jr., fired City Planning MARK ALAN KNIGHT, ex-Vice Mayor DONALD A. CRICHLOW, HARB Vice Chair PAUL M. WEAVER III and ex-HARB member JEREMY MARQUIS questions about lawbreaking, including possible violations of state Ethics and Sunshine laws.  Ask questions. Demand answers.  Remember: democracy is no spectator sport.

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