By Chip Ross
Fernandina Beach
City Commissioner
September 28, 2021

“Way to go Guys!
Approving five so called houses (eye soars) on a lot barely big enough for one.
Kudos to the commissioners and the planning department for thinking this is a good idea. Maybe it was a scriveners error!
You all are slipping in your diligence for making this stellar developer keep that one lonely little tree on the end from being hacked down,
I’m sure they could have squeezed 6 maybe more on that lot.
Be proud of your selves.
What’s next?”

I recently received the above e-mail from a City resident. My reply:

“Good morning:

If you are referring to the 5 lots on 14th Street South of Date Street – those lots were created more than 40 years ago. Since its inception, the building code has allowed building on a recorded lot. The current City Commission or any City Commission in the last 20 years had nothing to do with the “approval” of buildings on those lots. The development was allowed by the Land Development Code passed many years ago.

The City has approximately 900 buildable single vacant lots remaining. Owners and developers are buying them and building on lots with environmentally sensitive land. The trees come down. The dunes get bulldozed.

The only way the City can stop that development is to buy the lots and put them in conservation so they can never be built on. Currently, I do not believe I have two other votes on the current City Commission to pursue that option.

If you have another idea, please let me know. If you would like to discuss, further send me you cell phone number and I will call, or call me at 410-394-0220.”

Chip Ross
City Commissioner of Fernandina Beach
26 September 2021

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DAVID LOTT
DAVID LOTT
9 months ago

Chip, there was a promise to have a referendum on the creation of a land conservation fund after the “mandated” conservation tax expired. What happened to that promise? While I believe that such a referendum would have failed, why not follow through and keep the promise?

Mike Lednovich
Mike Lednovich
9 months ago
Reply to  DAVID LOTT

Dave: I raised including conservation funding to be included in a bond referendum for 2022 at the early September Commission workshop. Conservation didn’t make the cut of priorities (riverfront flooding protection, downtown renovations and beach walkovers).

I would support Commissioner Ross’ effort for the city to purchase land — Mayor Mike

DAVID LOTT
DAVID LOTT
9 months ago
Reply to  Mike Lednovich

Sorry Mike, but apples and oranges. The promise made was for a separate conservation referendum that, if passed, would basically extend the conservation tax. Totally separate from the GOB elements.

mike spino
mike spino
9 months ago
Reply to  DAVID LOTT

What happened to the referendum? Covid happened. It would have been foolish to offer a voter approved tax increase in the middle of a pandemic. It would have been voted down and caused tremendous back lash. The City Commission acted prudently last year. I give them credit.

Perry Anthony
9 months ago

Now they will be nothing but a big eye sore to look at, just like some of the disgustingly ugly businesses along South 8th Street, which brings to mind the painting business (across from Roadshark Scooters) with all their equipment that just sits out in front of their shop. At least we got lucky when they tore down that UGLY Taylor Rental building that was falling down.

Thomas Smith
9 months ago

What a load. You mean to tell me the City has never changed codes or regulations to better facilitate what you deem “is best for out city”. Come on Chip. You could sue or conduct a public records request to find a loop hole to acommodate your plight. The city should not be in the property ownership business. Change the buildable lot size.

Richard Norman Kurpiers
Richard Norman Kurpiers
9 months ago
Reply to  Thomas Smith

Florida is a property rights state. Any change like your suggestion would be met with litigation with the FBCC (and city taxpayers) coming out on the losing end. Hence, your objections are better directed at the Florida Senate who passed bills to side with property owners over local municipalities.

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