Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
At its August 6, 2013 Regular Meeting, the Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) approved two issues dealing with land.
Centre Street Pocket Park
The five-year lease between the City of Fernandina Beach and the owners of the land currently being used as a pocket park adjacent to the coffee shop on Centre Street expired in June 2013. In seeking to enter into a new lease agreement with the owners—Curtiss Lasserre and Helen Paasche—City Attorney Tammi Bach advised the FBCC that the owners were requesting certain changes: that the term of the lease be month-to-month at the cost to the city of one dollar per month, that the city install a plaque on a park bench on the Centre Street side of the property to read “In Memory of Alfred G. Paasche,” and that the City install a decorative barrier or fence to prevent motorized vehicles from entering the property from 3rd Street. The property owners also requested that the city install a sign at the city’s expense to read : “This park leased to city for $1.00 per month and shall not be subleased by the City during Shrimp Festival or any other special event.”
City Manager Joe Gerrity expressed appreciation on behalf of the city to Curtiss Lasserre and Helen Paasche, the widow of the late Alfred Paasche, for making this land available for the people’s enjoyment. Commissioners approved the requested changes and the new lease unanimously.
The second Centre Street pocket park, on the opposite side of Centre Street, is unaffected by these changes. The city has a 20-year lease with Gray Family Holdings, Inc., the owner of that park property.
Right-Of-Way (ROW) Vacation – Pasco Avenue
On first reading, the FBCC passed unanimously Ordinance 2013-22, which provides for a ROW vacation of a 40-foot portion of Pasco Avenue. Pasco Avenue is not a through street and does not connect directly to any other street. It is isolated within an existing parcel described as lot 18 in the Sea View subdivision. The remnant portion of this street was created when the Nassau County Board of County Commissioners abandoned Withlacoochee Avenue in 1945.
Because the city owns lot 18 and is considering selling the parcel the proposed action is needed to clean up the property’s title. The parcel is located on the corner of South Fletcher Avenue and Bill Melton Road and currently contains the pedestal sign signifying the direction to the city golf course.
For legal reasons, the city cannot take possession of the entire ROW. Should this ordinance pass on final reading, the city will take ownership of the ROW south of the centerline, while the northern part will be conveyed to the adjacent property owner as fee simple property.
August 12, 2013 3:12 a.m.