Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
August 11, 2018
Cleared for take off
The new Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport terminal has received its certificate of occupancy (CO) from the city. Contractors and the city continue to work through the punch list.
PAB recommends approval for Crane Island annexation
The city’s Planning Advisory Board (PAB) approved the Crane Island annexation application with the understanding that certain areas will be designated Conservation. Before the action can be finalized, state review is required. The Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) will conduct public hearings and make a final decision by the end of calendar 2018.
Holiday Inn Express planned for Gateway complex
The city’s Technical Review Committee (TRC) reviewed plans for a 93-room Holiday Inn Express planned for 960108 Gateway Blvd. When the Gateway complex was originally designed, this site was designated for a hotel, but one was never built. Zoning and infrastructure requirements are already in place. Developers have been working with the Planning Department on siting in order to minimize loss of mature trees.
Library leaky roof to be repaired
The FBCC voted unanimously last week to spend a maximum of $34,350 to repair and waterproof the library’s leaky roof. The city may be exploring legal remedies to recoup the cost of repair and damages if negotiations with the project architect and builder prove fruitless to correct the problem that appears to have stemmed from the recent expansion of the facility, completed in 2015.
City bids on the street
See the city’s web site for complete information on the bids listed below:
- Traffic Circulation and Parking-Bids are due August 15 (City Commission goal: complete report by December 31).
- Professional Services-Qualifications from interested firms/individuals due August 17.
- Airport Engineering Consultant-Qualifications from interested firms/individuals due September 7.
Advanced Disposal Services (ADS)
As part of the city’s new waste hauling contract with Advanced Disposal, new trash and recycle totes will be issued and standardized throughout the city. See photos below.
Also, a new, smaller trash removal truck will be in use with the new contract next year, which allows for easier transit in neighbor-hoods like Amelia Park.
FBCC looks to amend meeting rules of procedure
To increase transparency and improve meeting productivity, City Commissioners are moving forward with changes in their meeting rules that would restrict their adding items with short public notice to FBCC meetings unless they involve imminent danger to public safety. Some commissioners have groused that the discussion and commissioner comment portions of the meeting agendas are being used inappropriately to force consensus decisions or otherwise cause action to be taken when there has been insufficient time and/or back up material for commissioners or the public to fully understand the issue. The FBCC will impose deadlines on themselves for providing background information and/or agenda notification consistent with requirements imposed on city staff for adding items to meeting agendas.
HDC postpones St. Mchael’s Church office construction and related plans to September
The Historic District Council (HDC) at the request of the applicant postponed consideration of cases related to construction of a new church office building to their September 20, 2018. This is the latest postponement of several as the church and city staff attempt to resolve long standing parking issues associated with the church campus expansion.
PAB postpones cases related to accessory dwellings, building height
The city’s Planning Advisory Board (PAB) postponed to their September 12, 2018 meeting consideration of two cases bound to generate significant public interest. The first, on allowing the construction and rental of accessory dwellings; the second, requiring all mechanical systems, roof top gardens, etc., to be included in the maximum height of buildings and allowing no variance for exceptions.