Wednesday, November 18, 2015

SAB EMBASSY SUITES HOTEL 200,000 vs. 20,000 CUBIC FEET OF FILL DIRT: What's going on here? My letter to FDEP Secretary JONATHAN STEVERSON

Dear Messrs Kriger and Steverson:
1. Six (6) days after the fact, our City of St. Augustine Beach's Building Department Director, Mr. Gary Larson, now belatedly says that he "erred" (see below), stating he meant to say 20,000 cubic yards of fill (not 200,000 cubic yards of fill) for the proposed Embassy Suites Hotel, the only property that stands between St. Johns County's St. Augustine Beach Pier Park and the State of Florida's Anastasia State Park, home to endangered species. On November 12, 2015, Mr. Larson said that the Key International proposed Hilton Embassy Suites Hotel required 200,000 cubic yards of fill. Six (6) days later, without explanation for his "error," Mr. Larson amends his very public statement at the November 12, 2015 workshop on building height. Why did it take so long, if it were a mere "error." Does anyone believe that? Does everyone now see what we have to put up with here in St. Augustine, St. Augustine Beach and St. Johns County?
2. Mr. Gary Larson said at the 11/12 SAB Building Height Workshop that the applicant was planning to deposit 200,000 cubic yards of fill; revising and amending his story, Gary Larson now says it's 20,000 cubic yards.
3. Or is Key International Planning to ask for more fill dirt, after getting initial approval and did Larson let the cat out of the bag?
4. Please give this developer's permit applications the strict scrutiny they deserve -- please determine whether the applicant intends to apply for more fill later, if Mr. Larson erred. Please draft your determinations to rule out any more than 20,000 cubic yards in fill dirt.
5. Please address the environmental issues on our endangered sea turtles, gopher tortoises, Anastasia Island Beach Mice and other endangered species affected by the controversial proposed project.
6. This site is near the place that City of St. Augustine City Archaeologist Carl Halbirth theorizes was the second location of the City of St. Augustine, in 1566, based on offshore artesian well, 16th century artifacts frequently found in the surf (by Mr. Keisden's brother-in-law), and the 16th century roads crossroads: St. Augustine, our Nation's Oldest City, was burned by Temucua Indians in 1566 and moved somewhere on Anastasia Island).
7. Due to these ineluctable environmental and archaeological facts and theories, please investigate Mr. Gary Larson's utterly unexamined, un-peer-reviewed, inarticulate, unscholarly, and unacceptably unadorned ukase that "no environmental or archaeological [is] needed."
8. This casuistry is, at best, facetious.
9. Having "erred" by a factor of 1000% on the quantity fill dirt -- 200,000 vs. 20,000 cubic yards -- Mr. Gary Larson is not worthy of belief on whether "environmental or archaeological" investigations are "needed" for a massive hotel between Anastasia State Park and St. Johns County Pier Park.
10. Please order and publicize full archaeological and environmental assessments before allowing any excavations or construction.
Thank you.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin

-----Original Message-----
From: Gary Larson
To: easlavin
Cc: Max Royle
Sent: Wed, Nov 18, 2015 11:46 am
Subject: Requests 2015-415

1. No environmental or archaeological needed. Existing previously developed site. .
2. I errored, added an extra zero by mistake. An staging/safety plan will be discussed if project is approved and pre construction meetings are held.
3. No permits needed for truck trips.

1. FDEP came aware about 2 months ago when first application was submitted to DEP for consideration of Notice to Proceed. 4/28/2015
2. 4/28/2015
3. Last night.
4. 20,000 per application by your text.
5. Location unknown, contractor unknown.
6. 312
7. No.
8. Unknown
9. Unknown
10. As to what. Plan is in accordance with applicable codes and laws.
11. All applicable documents are on the City website for which you received how to access the link by Ms. Miller

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Mon, Nov 16, 2015 12:08 pm
Subject: Re: Request No. 2015-415: SAB Embassy Suites 200,000 Cubic Yards of Fill: How many dump truck loads is that? Any FDEP Permits to Bring Through Anastasia State Park?

City of St. Augustine Beach Zoning and Building Director GARY LARSON said 200,000 feet. November 12, 2015 Workshop. Item D. I spoke in public comment afterwards referring to this figure, with my calculations on 10,000 truck loads. No response.
Is AKERMAN SENTERFITT and its client, KEY INTERNATIONAL trying to pull another fast one?
This is the same law firm that represents BP and defended the City of St. Augustine and its then-City Manager when they dumped a landfill in a lake, at first demanding to bring it back to the African-American community of Lincolnville. (We won, and the 40,000 cubic yards of solid waste is now in the Nassau County Landfill).
Ed Slavin

-----Original Message-----
From: Kriger, David
To: easlavin
Cc: Smith, Roxanne M.
Sent: Fri, Nov 13, 2015 3:56 pm
Subject: RE: Request No. 2015-415: SAB Embassy Suites 200,000 Cubic Yards of Fill: How many dump truck loads is that? Any FDEP Permits to Bring Through Anastasia State Park?

Mr. Slavin:

All of the documents submitted in conjunction with the Coastal Construction Control Line (CCCL) permit application for the Embassy Suites project in St. Augustine Beach (SJ-1223) may be accessed via the following link:[freeText=]&[folderName=]&[profile=Permitting_Authorization%2BPlans+and+Specifications]&[creator=]&[entityType=any]&[createdDateTo=]&[catalog=20]&[searchBy=profile]&[sortBy=Document+Date]&[createdDate=]&{District=_EQ_TLH}&{County=_EQ_ST.+JOHNS}&{Facility-Site+ID=_EQ_BCS_SJ001223}

Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions pertaining to this application.

David A. Kriger
Department of Environmental Protection
Division of Water Resource Management
Coastal Construction Control Line Program
2600 Blair Stone Road
Mail Station 3522
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
850-245-7680 (phone)

In accordance with the Department’s Paperless Initiative the Coastal Construction Control Line (CCCL) Program has implemented a paperless permitting process. For instructions on accessing forms and submitting them and other documents to DEP please visit our website at: or for more information, please email us at:

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