Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
October 20, 2016 4:01 p.m.
On Second and Final Reading during their October 18, 2016 Regular Meeting, the Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) unanimously approved without further discussion four Ordinances dealing with land use changes in what has been described as the 8th Street Corridor. Commission action followed two years of study and recommendations from city staff and citizens to remove impediments to improving the appearance of 8th Street as the main entry to the city, encourage redevelopment of abandoned or vacant properties and move toward a more pedestrian and bicycle friendly city. Changes were also reviewed b the state. Information pertaining to all efforts, including meeting minutes, maps and other visual representations of the opportunities presented by the changes may be found on the city’s website: www.fbfl.us/8thStreet.
By their actions, the Commission amended the city’s Comprehensive Plan to create a new zoning district (MU-8); changed the Future Land Use Map to assign Future Land Use Map Designations of 8th Street Small Area Mixed Use (8MU) and Central Business District (CBD) to approximately 67 acres located in the 8th Street Small Area; adopted modifications to the Land Development Code pertaining to the 8th Street Small Area; and assigned a Zoning Category of 8th Street Small Area Mixed Use (8MU) and Central Business District (CBD) to approximately 67 acres located in the 8th Street Small Area.
The issues addressed were fully discussed in public meetings of various committees and subcommittees composed of residents, city and county staff, developers, and elected officials beginning in 2014. The resulting actions were also approved by the city’s Planning Advisory Board.
Reha London, a resident who recently moved to Fernandina Beach, spoke to the issues covered by the ordinances, offering suggestions and asking questions. Vice Mayor Robin Lentz, who had served on the initial subcommittee formed to consider the problems of the 8th Street Corridor, addressed the speaker’s concerns by recapping all the citizen input, including a citizen survey, that preceded the FBCC’s current consideration.
For additional background on the changes and public reaction, consult earlier Fernandina Observer articles by typing 8th Street Corridor in the Fernandina Observer search field on the home page.
Editor’s Note: Suanne Z. Thamm is a native of Chautauqua County, NY, who moved to Fernandina Beach from Alexandria,VA, in 1994. As a long time city resident and city watcher, she provides interesting insight into the many issues that impact our city. We are grateful for Suanne’s many contributions to the Fernandina Observer.