The City of Atlantic Beach had an “Open House” on August 7th to ask for input from citizens on an ordinance that will rezone 12 Planned Unit Developments that will affect 450 home owners in the Selva Marina and Selva Tierra neighborhoods. These areas will be zoned as Residential, Single-family (RS-1). The reason given for the rezoning is that it will “resolve administrative issues related to the PUDs while providing consistent development standards in the area.”
Although there may be a need at some time for rezoning in these proposed areas, for the AB City Staff not to have first involved the 450 home owners who will be affected is astounding. These people represent at nearly 10% of our city population. Shouldn’t they have been asked if they wanted to rezone their area rather than be told that it will be rezoned? If this was to have been a “required public notice”, shouldn’t the mailers have stated “your property is going to be rezoned” rather than inviting them to an “Open House”?
This is the biggest rezoning since Mayport Section H and it has not been given nearly as much attention. The Mayport rezoning had several town hall meetings, informal meetings and a lot of publicity. There were signs in nearly every yard and posters that covered the area. Everything was done to ensure that the Mayport citizens knew what was happening. This hasn’t been done with this project.
In the Mayport overlay, the businesses came to the mayor, commissioners and staff asking for rezoning. In this case, most of the home owners who attended last week’s meeting were not in favor of the rezoning. Many citizens in the proposed areas don’t understand what is happening and don't think the mailer they received pertained to them.
During the Gate hearing, the Land Use Specialist, Dodi Glas, who represented the citizens of Atlantic Beach, stated that she had never seen in any other city's charter and comprehensive plan so many references to maintaining the city's character and neighborhoods. This is what defines our community.
These neighborhoods are the heart of Atlantic Beach. They are unique. They are special. They are the character of our city. Surely these citizens deserve the highest consideration from our city. If there is to be rezoning, let's do this the right way. There needs to be more outreach and public meetings. Whatever is done needs to come from AB citizens first.
The ordinance is already scheduled to be presented to the AB Community Development Board this coming Tuesday, August 21st at 6pm in City Chambers. All affected citizens need to attend and have their voices heard. Please call and email our City Commissioners, the City Manager and the Director of Planning and Development. For the PowerPoint presentation from staff, click here. For the comparison of the PUDs vs RS-1, click here. For example plans and comparison, click here.
GLASSER, ELLEN, MAYOR SEAT 1, firstname.lastname@example.org, (904)472-6262
STINSON, JOHN CITY COMMISSIONER SEAT 2 email@example.com (904) 655-5250
WATERS, BLYTHE CITY COMMISSIONER SEAT 3 firstname.lastname@example.org (904) 234-3361
KELLY, CANDACE, CITY COMMISSIONER SEAT 4, email@example.com, (904)859-4387
NORRIS, BRITTANY, CITY COMMISSIONER SEAT 5, firstname.lastname@example.org, (904) 452-5066
CITY MANAGER, JOE GERRITY, email@example.com, 904-247-5806
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR, SHANE CORBIN, firstname.lastname@example.org, 904-247-5817