Friday, February 03, 2023

Attend February 7, 2023 CoSA PZB Hearing on Commercialization of Historic District HP-1

From St. Augustine Residents Count Facebook page, by Capt. Lee Geanuleas, U.S.N. (Ret.):

Neighbors, The 7 Feb PZB packet is posted and confirms that the owner of 11 Bridge ST wants to rezone the property into a PUD to allow for a "four or five" room bed & breakfast. The applicant justifies this request by noting a B&B is compatible with the area around 11 Bridge Street with the Sanchez House Special Event Venue, the Westcott House Bed & Breakfast PUD, and the Marin House Bed & Breakfast PUD.
Funny, the applicant refers to commercial operations (previous rezonings) across the street from 11 Bridge but fails to note the residential properties that directly border it (red squares in the picture below). Don't they count?

This is how a residential neighborhood slowly unravels, and its quality of life is undermined. We're consistently told, "rezoning to a PUD doesn't create a precedent." Yet, we see applicants repeatedly use prior rezonings to justify their request.
When the Marin House B&B was rezoned from HP-1, residents were told, "don't worry, it's on the other side of Marine Street. This won't set a precedent." Same with the Westcott House B&B. This rationale was also used to justify creating an "event venue" at the Sanchez House. 
Some will argue "she can't restore the house without the revenue from short-term rentals." Well, she bought the historic home in 2016 for $210,000. Today, Zillow estimates its value as a residential property at $621,000. The owner could fix the place up, sell it and pocket roughly $300,000. That's a pretty sweet ROI.
As I noted previously, in 2018, the residents of Old City South (which includes 11 Bridge ST) turned out in large numbers to argue against a similar rezoning at 125 Marine ST. Let's hope those folks are still interested in protecting their neighborhood.
Commercial activity will spread like cancer through the HP-1 district if left unchallenged. If you value ST Augustine's residential neighborhoods, please register your concern with the PZB and come down to the Alcazar Room next Tuesday, 7 Feb at 1:00 PM to voice your concerns.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

🎶 Still standing most our lives living in a grifters paradise 🎶