By Mike Phillips
The members of the Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board (CRAAB) were presented Thursday evening with a can that they don’t think needs to be kicked down the road.
It’s a piece of waterfront land that has almost been protected from flooding, almost worked into a parking lot with the same spaces that were there all along and a hefty 27% increase in green space that is quite possible.
It’s the land known as Parking Lots C & D, the land that runs from the southern marsh where the shrimp boats dock, north to the launch ramp for boaters.
Board member Eric Bartelt presented the draft plan after a presentation from Mayor Walter Duke of Dania, Florida, who said that improving down-at-the-heels Dania started with “taking that first bite.” The unspoken message was that Fernandina Beach has a waterfront opportunity that could be another “first bite.”
Here are the highlights of Bartelt’s presentation:
- 74 code-compliant parking spaces, just as always.
- 10 pull-through spaces for boaters, just as always.
- Room for 74 temporarary petanque courts for the big annual tournament, just as always.
- Finish the southern piece of the waterfront walkway northward to the boat ramp.
- Open up opportunities for creative use of a 27% increase in green space between the parking and the riverfront walkway.
- Offer a space for a restaurant or other services.
- And, as Mayor Duke proposed in his presentation, take a bite out of our waterfront issues that helps the rest of the job pick up steam.
The board asked plenty of questions and posed some alternative design tweaks. But in the end, it voted unanimously to get this piece of the waterfront project up and running. The next step will be a presentation to the city commission.
Cost: From the city’s finance staff and relayed by committee member Bartelt, $95,000.