FWC approves new guidelines for 9 State Threatened species

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission
December 17, 2018 1:00 a.m.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) today approved Species Conservation Measures and Permitting Guidelines for nine of the more than 50 species in the agency’s Imperiled Species Management Plan. The Florida bog frog, crystal darter, Sherman’s short-tailed shrew, Georgia blind salamander, Southern tessellated darter and four species of wading birds including the little blue heron, tricolored heron, reddish egret and roseate spoonbill will benefit from the new species guidelines.


Species guidelines are designed to be a tool for landowners, consultants, agency partners and other interested parties on how to conserve these species. The guidelines offer options for avoidance, minimization and mitigation of take for the nine state-designated Threatened species. They provide species-specific information on key issues relevant to real-world conservation, including:

  • Essential behavioral patterns.
  • Survey methods.
  • Recommended conservation practices.
  • Exemptions or authorizations for take.
  • Coordination with other regulatory programs.
  • Permitting options.

For an overview of how Florida conserves imperiled species, go to MyFWC.com/Imperiled.

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Nassau County Community Band schedules Christmas Concernt

Nassau County Community Bank
Press Release
Submitted by Lori Kale
December 16, 2018 8:09 p.m.

The Nassau Community Band performs their Holiday concert on Thursday, December 20th, at 7:00 p.m. at the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church.

Nassau County Community Band

Take a ‘Sleigh Ride’ to enjoy ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’, and have a ‘Most Wonderful Time’, as you sing along to ‘Pop’ selections, as a ‘White Christmas’ is enjoyed with your community band. A ‘Celtic Carol’ will make your toes tap as we welcome all to ‘A Christmas Festival’. You’ll cry ‘Hallelujah’ that you joined us. Don’t be a ‘Grinch’ and miss it!

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Amelia Island revealed . . .

Submitted by Kathie Kirts
December 15, 2018 11:00 p.m.

“The Lonely Seagull” Photo courtesy of Kathie Kirts

Editor’s Note: The Kirts family moved to Amelia Island in September from the Western North Carolina Mountains. For a number of years they have visited lifelong friends on the island and naturally fell in love with the island and lifestyle. Kathie looks forward to many photo ops on land and shore. We welcome the Kirts to our community and thank Kathie for her contribution to the Fernandina Observer.

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North Florida Land Trust has turned over the Spanish American War Fort to the National Park Service

North Florida Land Trust
Contact: Kelly White
(904) 616-8754
[email protected]
December 15, 2018 3:00 p.m.

Jacksonville, Fla., Dec. 14, 2018 – North Florida Land Trust has turned over ownership of the 1898 Spanish American War Fort to the National Park Service. The two organizations came together today to make the transfer of ownership official. Rainy weather moved the event from the military battery to the National Park Service’s Jacksonville headquarters.

North Florida Land Trust and the National Park Service invited special guests to join them for a ceremony to mark the occasion. Lake Ray IV presented an antique post flag to NFLT President Jim McCarthy who then presented it to NPS Superintendent Chris Hughes. The flag had 45 stars which was the official United States flag between 1896 and 1908 and would have been the type that flew over the 1898 Spanish American War Fort. Susan Edelman of the Community Foundation was also there to represent the Delores Barr Weaver Fund which was instrumental in funding Continue reading

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Work progressing in city marina’s south basin

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
December 15, 2018 1:16 p.m.


Fernandina Harbor Marina Manager Joe Springer reported yesterday that despite rain and poor conditions, all the sections of the South Basin attenuator have now been removed. All that remains of that dock is 66 pilings, which will be removed soon.  Springer supplied the photo below showing the work that has been done thus far.

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TRC advises applicants on next steps in moving projects forward

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
December 14, 2018 11:18 a.m.

The Technical Review Committee (TRC) of the City of Fernandina Beach met for three hours on December 13, 2018 and conducted 7 pre-application discussions for potential new or redevelopment projects, many of which involve a change in use.

TRC committee listens to Mike McCluskey and Chip Sasser (far right) present plans for former BuyGo establishment. TRC members at the table (l-r):Andre Desilet (Stormwater), Jason Higginbotham (Fire Rescue), Jake Platt (Planning), Rex Lester (Maintenance), John Mandrick (Utilities), Don Kukla (Building), Michelle Forstrom (Code Enforcement), Sal Cumella (Historic Preservation Planner).

The TRC reviews applications and provides compliance reports for site plans, rezoning, amendments to the Land Development Code, preliminary subdivision plats, final subdivision plats, and amendments to previously issued local development orders.

TRC Membership includes, at a minimum, a representative from each City department that must ultimately sign-off on projects before building permits can be issued.  City Planner Jake Platt coordinates the staff committee.

In conducting the pre-application discussions described below, city staff stressed to applicants the need to engage services of architects, engineers and design professionals to help determine requirements for sewer, water and fire protection as well as impact fees.  The city has adopted new policies for redevelopment that require dumpsters to be located on private property, not city right-of-ways (ROW).  Also, the city is looking to reduce concrete and asphalt surfaces that have been improperly placed in city ROWs over the years.  Developers must also be mindful of ADA requirements for both parking and access to buildings.

The cases presented below will require a formal application incorporating city guidance and recommendations before they can proceed to permitting.

Continue reading

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Three projects moving to finalize building permits

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
December 14, 2018 12:30 p.m.

Three projects have recently passed technical review in the city of Fernandina Beach and are now on their way to finalize building permits.

5thStreet Lofts

Look to see work begin early in the new year on transforming the former First Baptist Church School building on North 5thStreet into Lofts on 5th condominiums.  Skilling Architects are putting their final touches on the building permit application.  Owners began work on this project in 2016, and received final approval from the city’s Historic District Council in August 2018.

from Lofts on 5th website

Fernandina Condos

The site as it appears today

Another project that has piqued community interest is a condo/retail project that will occupy the northwest corner of Atlantic Avenue and North 11thStreet.

Replacing what had been a gas station/convenience store at 1015 Atlantic Avenue, this project will be new from the ground up.  It is located in the Central Business District outside the Historic District. Onsite parking will be provided. Owners appear eager to begin work on this project, which began its city Continue reading

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In Bosque Bello history unfolds . . .

By Cindy Jackson
December 14, 2018 10:00 a.m.

The City of Fernandina, in cooperation and collaboration with the Florida Public Archaeology Network’s Northeast Region and a recently formed volunteer-based organization known as the Friends of Bosque Bello are united in their interest and dedication to preserving Fernandina Beach’s historic Bosque Bello Cemetery.

Bosque Bello has been in existence since 1798 with the first burial occurring in 1813, according to many sources.

With several meetings under their belt, the work to be undertaken by this ad hoc collective of historians and preservationists is huge.

A workshop was held last month at which time a manual was distributed — a link to which is provided by clicking here.

Emily Jane Murray, who works as a Public Archaeology Coordinator with the Florida Public Archaeology Network’s Northeast Region was at that November meeting and explains in a follow-up email the mission of her organization Continue reading

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The End of an Era

Photo by Lea Gallardo
December 14, 2018 4:00 p.m.

Editor’s Note:  We thought our reader’s would enjoy a ground level view of the beginning of demolition taking placed on North Front Street.  This is one of the few seafood houses remaining on Fernandina’s waterfront. High tides and wind have wrecked havoc on a building that once housed a crab packing operation.

North Front Street Photo Courtesy of Lea Gallardo

Editor’s Note: Lea Gallardo developed a love of photography at a very young age. Not until photography and computers “joined forces” did Lea become completely involved in photography. After 47 years in the Washington, D.C. area where Lea owned a group of stores, she became a full time resident of Fernandina.

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Chamber of Commerce names new Board Chairman

Nassau County Chamber of Commerce
Submitted by Alex Wilmer
Communications and Marketing Coordinator
December 14, 2018 3:00 p.m.

At the Chamber’s annual meeting,  2018 Chairman of the Board, Bob Hartman (Residence Inn Amelia Island) passes the gavel to the incoming 2019 Chairman of the Board, Mary Pitcher (Pineland Bank).

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