Author Topic: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco  (Read 15171 times)

jaxjags

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Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #30 on: February 10, 2020, 01:26:53 PM »
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then you start 'pushing the envelope' of the existing overlay boundaries

They could have just torn down all the buildings and built a strip mall within the confines of the existing zoning code. Perhaps the existing zoning code doesn't adequately reflect the realities of today.

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I loved what the Weavers did at John Gorrie, and I wish the Church elders had thought about that before going into a contract. When I go over to the site, it looks like the existing building fronting Hendricks (between the sanctuary and Mathews)  is suitable for residential re-use

Comparing the John Gorrie to the hodgepodge of buildings on this site is apples to oranges. Gorrie has much more square feet in its existing footprint, has parking on site (btw, it needed a parking variance), is much more interesting architecturally... and was a passion project that did not make money for the developer. 

BTW, its now 15 years later and the Gorrie retail pad sites are still not developed.

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It might have been smart to hire an experienced local Commercial broker or real estate attorney to vet the proposal(s) prior to signing. Preferably one with San Marco background. Perhaps they did, but I have not seen that discussed. 

The developer lives in San Marco. The developer hired another local developer who lives in San Marco, whose headquarters are in San Marco, and has more property in San Marco than only 2 or 3 other companies. The civil engineer lives in San Marco and has designed many award-winning commercial projects in San Marco... oh, they also redesigned San Marco Square/Balis Park and were largely responsible for the San Marco By Design design guidelines.   

BUT, the planning consultant and the land use attorney both live in Avondale... so maybe you have a point?

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The fact that the Weavers spent $15 million is hard to fathom, as that is about the budget CDP had to build from ground up the 145 units at SoBa, including a big garage and pool.

Another apples to grapefruit comparison... but clearly you've never penciled out either kind of development, so its understandable that the context escapes you.

+1000 . Present zoning allows a strip mall. Go for it. But the developers want better for San Marco. The existing buildings are disjointed, don't really fit San Marco today and are not historic.

I really believe this is another case of a small group of residents who disdain the idea of apartments so close to their homes.

CC needs to evaluate if this zoning change is better for the neighborhood, San Marco and the City of Jax, as compared to a potential strip mall. The church, one way or another, is going to sell the property.

MusicMan

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Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #31 on: February 10, 2020, 04:14:55 PM »
I think they (Right Size San Marco) have made it clear, they understand something will be built. They just want it to fit in the neighborhood.
That desire seems pretty reasonable to me, even if the developer gets everything they want. 


bl8jaxnative

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Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2020, 11:38:04 AM »
Strip malls ==> the only things that scare urbanistas more than a cul-de-sac with out a sidewalk.

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2020, 02:28:07 PM »
Zoning and overlays may be against this, but how many times has that been over ridden for other developments...

The below is a famous quote from a German Lutheran pastor about the expansion of Nazi power:
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    First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—

         Because I was not a socialist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
         Because I was not a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
         Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.


Not to put it on the same plane, but many fight zoning changes in their neighborhood with the same concern expressed here ... that if they don't fight the first battle, there will be evermore impactful developments to follow that get harder to attack due to prior precedents.  Where does it all end? 

You basically confirm this fear with this line:  "how many times has that been over ridden for other developments."  This is why much of Jacksonville's historic buildings and neighborhood character has been greatly chiseled away.  We never draw a hard line in the sand and stand by it but rather defend rampant development because, once we made one exception, we might as well make exceptions for everyone without discrimination.  We see the same pattern leading to suburban sprawl and the gradual decimation of virgin green space and environmentally sensitive lands.

The article below adds to my comments above about where is the line drawn on rezoning exceptions and how one change can set precedent for the whole city, as developers cry "Me too!"  This is just another reason why residents need to be vigilant, pay attention to other zoning battles in the City and resist rampant exceptions to carefully thought out zoning restrictions and long term overlay plans.   What good are zoning and overlays if they are not enforced?

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https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20200214/san-marco-zoning-height-dispute-raising-questions-elsewhere

(Emphasis added)
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Apartments proposed for San Marco church property might be shorter than a shopping center planned across the street, but a zoning debate surrounding them could cast a shadow on neighborhoods across Jacksonville.

People outside the area have stayed quiet so far about Park Place at San Marco, a four-story apartment building and garage that developers hope to build on land now housing part of the landmark South Jacksonville Presbyterian Church.

But questions about a calculation used to define the project’s height – letting a 49.5-foot-tall building meet a 35-foot height limit in that neighborhood – have drawn attention from people wondering about ripple effects in the rest of the city.

“It’s not something we’ve seen used before,” said Warren Jones, executive director of Riverside Avondale Preservation, the neighborhood group for the historic district on the opposite side of the St. Johns River.

“We wonder if, since we in the district use the term ‘maximum height,’ would this be used here,” Jones said. “And if so, what would the effect be on height calculations for us?”....
« Last Edit: February 15, 2020, 02:33:30 PM by jaxlongtimer »

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #34 on: February 17, 2020, 02:21:10 PM »
San Marco height fight on steroids in the Big Apple!

How about this story from New York about a developer that pushed the building department to stretch zoning rules for height limits?  It now may cost them the removal of up to 20 floors already built!  Lessons for Jacksonville?

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New York skyscraper must remove top 20 floors, judge rules

Fifty-two story block built far too high by taking advantage of zoning loophole

In an extraordinary ruling, a state supreme court judge has ordered the developers of a nearly completed 668-foot block of flats in New York to remove as many as 20 or more floors from the top of the building.

The decision is a major victory for community groups who opposed the project on the grounds that the developers used a zoning loophole to create the tallest building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. A lawyer representing the project said the developers would appeal the decision.

Justice W Franc Perry ordered that the Department of Buildings revoke the building permit for the tower at 200 Amsterdam Avenue and remove all floors that exceed the zoning limit. Exactly how many floors might need to be deconstructed has yet to be determined, but under one interpretation of the law, the building might have to remove 20 floors or more from the 52-storey tower to conform to the regulation.

“We’re elated,” said Olive Freud, the president of the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development, one of the community groups that brought the suit.

“The developers knew that they were building at their own peril,” said Richard Emery, a lawyer representing the community groups that challenged the project before the foundation was even completed. Mr Emery said this decision sent a warning to other developers who proceed with construction despite pending litigation.

The question at the heart of the suit was whether the developers had abused zoning rules to justify the project’s size.

It is common for developers to purchase the unused development rights of adjacent buildings to add height and bulk to their project. But in this case opponents of the project argued that the developers, SJP Properties and Mitsui Fudosan America, created a “gerrymandered”, highly unusual 39-sided zoning lot to take advantage of the development rights from a number of tenuously connected lots. Without this technique, the tower might have been little more than 20 storeys tall, instead of the nearly finished 52-storey tower that now stands.

The decision also sets an important precedent, said Elizabeth Goldstein, president of the Municipal Art Society of New York, one of the advocacy groups that brought the suit against the project.

“The way this zoning lot was constructed has been invalidated, and that is extremely important,” Ms Goldstein said, adding that the decision would deter other developers from attempting similar strategies.

Scott Mollen, a lawyer with the firm Herrick Feinstein, which is representing the project, said the ruling contradicted earlier decisions from the Department of Buildings and the Board of Standards and Appeals that were based on a long-established zoning interpretation. SJP, one of the developers, said they would “appeal this decision vigorously”.

What comes next is unclear. While further litigation would effectively postpone any disassembly of the tower, sales at the luxury block would also be held up. Marketing is well underway for the 112 luxury apartments, and the most lucrative units are on the top floors — including a $21m (£16m) penthouse, which would likely be removed if the decision stands.

The New York Times
« Last Edit: February 17, 2020, 02:22:45 PM by jaxlongtimer »

edjax

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Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #35 on: February 20, 2020, 09:59:07 AM »
How did the meeting go last night?

Captain Zissou

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Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #36 on: February 20, 2020, 11:05:22 AM »
I too would love to see the Fuhrer's comments, so do you have a link where I could indoctrinate myself with his wise teachings?  I have been singing his praises far and wide to the masses.  He masterfully is opposing a zoning change when he himself received a zoning change for his architectural masterpiece fronting Hendricks avenue.  Truly a strategic mastermind at work.

Captain Zissou

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Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #37 on: February 27, 2020, 01:40:54 PM »
Anybody going to the Smart San Marco event tonight?

Papa33

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Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #38 on: February 27, 2020, 02:21:50 PM »
I want to see this development come to fruition, but I have to say, I find this whole "weighted average" to be a bogus concept.

Steve

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Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #39 on: February 27, 2020, 05:33:31 PM »
I want to see this development come to fruition, but I have to say, I find this whole "weighted average" to be a bogus concept.

I agree. Be honest with the height and ask for the variance. Personally, I still would have been for it.

I will say....not impressed with Andy Allen’s comments on this one. I like his development, but I like him less after this.

Captain Zissou

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Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #40 on: February 28, 2020, 09:32:45 AM »
Did you go?

I did.  I am sure they burned through the 133 drinks, as there were always about 40-50 people in the room despite people coming and going throughout the evening.  Spirits were high as everyone was celebrating logic and reason triumphing over NIMBYism.  Some of the G&G regulars became community activists to get in on the free drinks.  I suspect their activism has since faded.

Scott Wilson and Leanna Cumber came through, so I guess they are with the good guys on this one.  I spoke with some of the guys on the project and it sounds like you're right that RSSM is even nastier in person.  Corner Lot offered to do more to accommodate RSSM, but were met with something to the effect of "don't bother, we're going to get this project shut down anyway".

Tacachale

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Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #41 on: February 28, 2020, 09:54:57 AM »

I hope you got a chance to watch the council meeting clip I referenced in the PM I sent.

Please share!
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

Captain Zissou

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Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #42 on: February 28, 2020, 10:14:01 AM »
I get about 2 PMs a year, so I rarely check, but I just watched about 15 minutes of the comments.  The condescension by all toward the council and the veiled threats by the Fuhrer at the end of his comments are gold!   

Steve

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Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #43 on: February 28, 2020, 10:50:00 AM »
I want to see this development come to fruition, but I have to say, I find this whole "weighted average" to be a bogus concept.

I agree. Be honest with the height and ask for the variance. Personally, I still would have been for it.

I will say....not impressed with Andy Allen’s comments on this one. I like his development, but I like him less after this.

I do not know Mr Allen and not  sure what he said related to this that offended you but I will give these developers credit for bending over backwards with changes and concessions to a group that unfortunately had no intention of actually compromising. Probably would have been helpful to know that up front. Considering the ridiculous performance from some of RSSM at these public meetings, I can’t imagine what it was like to deal with them directly.

Here's one of a few quotes of his:

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I'm tired of small businesses shutting down, I'm tired of Nimbyism, and I'm tired of neighboring homes saying they want the development while making it impossible to build.  I find it hard to believe them especially after we conceded everything they requested in November to "make them happy!"

Here's why I don't like it: While the folks at RSSM would likely only settle for single family homes on the site and I believe some of their asks are ridiculous. With that said, they have every right to fight for what they want, just like the developers have the right to hire attorneys to fight for what THEY want. To me the tone is overly nasty and emotionally charged, which could come back to bite later IMO.

This, combined with "Weighted Average Height" isn't a good look. I have to agree that Weighted Average Height is a bit of nonsense. If you want to comply with 35 feet, then comply. If you don't, own it, and say your development is 49.5 Feet tall and you intend to apply for a variance.

Steve

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Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #44 on: February 28, 2020, 10:54:52 AM »

 I spoke with some of the guys on the project and it sounds like you're right that RSSM is even nastier in person.  Corner Lot offered to do more to accommodate RSSM, but were met with something to the effect of "don't bother, we're going to get this project shut down anyway".

Sadly, they became worse as the realization had set in that they were “ not going to get their way “. I expect they are not accustomed to that feeling. I just hope their lawyer cranks up the billable hours for however long this process takes.

I hope you got a chance to watch the council meeting clip I referenced in the PM I sent.

This is not surprising at all and in 6 years on RAP we dealt with this a TON of times. You have a developer that wanted to do something that would not comply with the overlay, you had a group of neighbors which would fight it either way, and you had RAP that was trying to keep everyone happy. It isn't a easy job and more often than not, RAP was portrayed as the bad guy.

This is one area where I think SMPS didn't do a great job controlling the conversation. The two names you heard the most was Corner Lot and RSSM. I'm not saying SMPS' role here was easy, but it's never easy. I feel like I'm in the know but I STILL don't know what exactly SMPS' complaints were (I knew they were against it but what were the specific reasons), and what was their counter proposal. That's an issue.