Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
February 22, 2021
On Second Reading at their February 16, 2021 Regular Meeting, the Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) approved two Ordinances for final adoption. While public hearings were conducted, no member of the public spoke. The FBCC also considered 3 Ordinance changes on First Reading.
PROHIBITION OF EBIKES: ORDINANCE 2021-02
Although Commissioners initially thought to ban certain classes of ebikes from sidewalks, trails, beaches, and Egan’s Creek Greenway, they ultimately decided that such action would create enforcement headaches. Instead they opted to remove the reference to ebikes from the ordinance and provided a speed limit of 10 MPH for all bikes. The motion passed on a 3-2 vote with Mayor Mike Lednovich and Vice Mayor Len Kreger in opposition. Kreger’s position was that there should be no bikes of any sort in the Greenway.
APPEALS OF HISTORIC DISTRICT COUNCIL DECISIONS: ORDINANCE 2021-03
Prior to the adoption of this ordinance, only applicants were allowed to appeal decisions of the Historic District Council (HDC) to the City Commission. Commissioner Chip Ross suggested broadening the right of appeal to “aggrieved or affected parties” in the interest of fairness. Other Commissioners did not agree. The compromise, which was supported by all Commissioners, was to eliminate any appeals of HDC decisions to the FBCC. With the change, appellants will be required to seek relief through the courts.
Approved with amendment on First Reading was Ordinance 2021-04, which allows for the use of pavers and circular driveways within the public right of way with the proviso that the property owner is responsible for any repairs or replacements needed because of City or utility company work in the right of way. This ordinance is now in effect even though it must pass a Second Reading and public hearing.
Also approved unanimously on First Reading with little or no discussion were two technical Ordinances:
- Ordinance 2021-05 established an amended classification and Pay Plan for current fiscal year by adding a position for City Engineer.
- Ordinance 2021-06 amended the Code of Ordinances to update referenced technical codes.