Neighborhoods, Community Investments and Services Committee

Special Meeting Minutes

 February 21, 2017



Location:  City Council Chamber, 1st floor, City Hall – St. James Building; 117 West Duval Street


In attendance: Council Members Scott Wilson (Chair), Reggie Brown (Vice Chair), Doyle Carter, Garrett Dennis, Bill Gulliford; Council Member Joyce Morgan was excused.


Also: Kyle Billy – Council Auditor’s Office; Peggy Sidman  – Office of General Counsel; Jeff Clements and John J. Jackson – Council Research Division; Juliette Williams – Legislative Services Division; Jessica Baker – Mayor’s Office


Meeting Convened: 9:07 a.m.


The topic for the special meeting was managing blight issues with service garages and liquor stores.

The presenter was Bill Killingsworth, Director, the Planning & Development Department.


Mr. Killingsworth explained various tools utilized  in the process of managing blight in neighborhoods when service garage lots and liquor stores were issues of concern. 


Mr. Killingsworth explained that an area-wide plan should be developed that involved all of the essential stakeholders including property owners, the faith-based community, commercial property owners and others.  Community support was essential.  It was important to have area plans that had specific policies and remedies.


For car lots, Mr. Killingsworth suggested that an existing tool is to control parking density.

A new tool in zoning changes involving PUDs (Planned Unit Development) is what he described as the conditional use option that allows the City to target specific problems that community stakeholders have raised.  He suggested that reducing the number of PUDs would be helpful.


Council Member Bill Gulliford felt that there are too many PUDS.  He said that the City needed to see what other cities in Florida are doing.


Council Member Reggie Brown felt that neighborhoods, particularly in his Council District, needed less internet cafes, pawn shops and liquor stores.  The preponderance of those types of businesses result in a community’s decline.  He cited the Moncrief Road and Soutel Drive areas, in particular, that are saddled with too many liquor stores, internet cafes and pawn shops. 


Mr. Brown also reported that parking in the City’s right-of-ways was another problem that he felt needed to be addressed.  The rights-of-way in front of property owners’ homes were a particular concern because the property owner was responsible for the upkeep of the rights-of-way.  The property owners were often unable to park in front of their own homes, though they were responsible for mowing the rights-of-way and keeping them clean.  The Chair, Council Member Scott Wilson, suggested that JSO and DIA ought to be involved in these issues since they are capable of issue parking citations.


Council Member Doyle Carter felt that PUDs had some merit because with PUDs the City can better regulate what property owners can and cannot do.


Council Member Garrett Dennis cautioned that if you banned business, one result would be empty storefronts.  He saw the need for a balance.


Deputy General Counsel Peggy Sidman explained that the City often enacts laws that cannot be enforced; she cited the lack of manpower at nights and on the weekends.


There being no further business, the special meeting was adjourned at 10:05 a.m.


John J. Jackson, Council Research Division (904) 630-1729



Posted: 2:00 p.m.