San Marco by Design advances to City Council

San Marco by Design advances to City Council
Rob Smith of the San Marco Preservation Society stands with some of the winners of the Society’s Beautification Awards. From left: Gina and Scott Schimpff, Andrea Kane (representing Daily’s), Rob Smith of SMPS, Chad Munsey and Michael Schmidt of the Bearded Pig restaurant.

As his final act as president of the San Marco Preservation Society during its annual meeting May 16, Andrew Dickson forwarded San Marco by Design, the neighborhood action plan SMPS has labored over for many years, to District 5 City Councilwoman Lori Boyer so she can begin the process of seeing it becomes Jacksonville law.

In front of a packed house at the Aardwolf Brewing Company, Dickson handed off two copies of the neighborhood action plan to Boyer’s executive council assistant, Nicole Spradley, so that she, in turn, could hand them over to her boss. Due to a prior commitment, Boyer did not attend the meeting.

San Marco by Design advances to City Council

Serving on the new San Marco Preservation Society board will be Bryan Mickler, Jason Shedlarski, Past President Andrew Dickson, Robin Robinson, Karen Carlucci, Glen Wieger, Zendra Spikes, President LeAnna Cumber and Chris Woolston. Not pictured: Debbie Pataky, Gordon Mott, Treasurer Rick Kohn and Mary Twoomey.

In addition to sharing an overview of San Marco by Design at the meeting, the Society also named its yearly beautification award winners and introduced new members of the SMPS board.

During the meeting, Dickson shared an overview of San Marco by Design, which the Society initiated in order to guide the Jacksonville Planning Department when it considers future development in San Marco. Boyer submitted the proposed neighborhood action plan as Ordinance 2016-367 to City Council for a first reading on May 24.

The crowd reviewed a presentation highlighting the main aspects of San Marco by Design, including a revised map of the various districts that make up San Marco and their height requirements. Dickson also called on SMPS members Zim Boulos, Bill Cesery, Rob Smith and Mike Balanky to give their insights on the importance of making the plan into an ordinance.

“This plan is a great thing for San Marco,” said Cesery, noting developers love certainty and the plan clearly spells out the community’s expectations for walkability and keeping its historic character intact. “It will help with the next development cycle.”

“(Development) is going to happen. North San Marco is already changing,” said Smith. “We have to see how we want it to change. We need to make sure it is done right.”

Balanky agreed. “This will pay dividends for decades going forward,” he said. 

The group recognized Valerie Feinberg as the chief architect of the action plan, as well as the efforts of Chris Flagg, who provided the designs and renderings, and Bill Killingsworth, who helped with the proposal and now serves as director of the city planning department.

During the awards section of the meeting, Smith said, after more than 20 years, 2016 was the last year he would select the Society’s Beautification award winners. He introduced Chris Woolston as his replacement.

Selected for recognition this year were the owners of three commercial establishments and four residential structures. The commercial structures included Daily’s convenience store at 1916 Atlantic Boulevard, the Bearded Pig BBQ Joint and Beer Garden at 1224 Kings Avenue and four dwellings – 1470 Belmonte Avenue, 1414 Cedar Street and 1118 Nira Street – that have been refurbished by Kohn Construction. Andrea Kane of First Coast Energy collected the award for Daily’s. Chad Munsey and Mike Schmidt, owners of the popular BBQ restaurant, took home the plaque for The Bearded Pig. A representative from Kohn did not attend the meeting.

Recognized in the residential category for the improvements they have made to their homes were Scott and Gina Schimpff at 2539 Laurel Road, Jake and Lindsey Shilling of 1052 Holly Lane, Todd and Stacey Chupp of 1163 Northwood Road, and Tom and Sarah Rossi of 1104 Lakewood Road.

Outgoing SMPS President Andrew Dickson announced the Society’s new board members for 2016-17. Serving as president will be LeAnna Cumber. Also on the board will be Jason Shedlarski, Robin Robinson, Chris Woolston, Debbie Pataky, Zendra Spikes, Karen Carlucci, Glen Wieger, Gordon Mott, Bryan Mickler and Rick Kohn.

Cumber said she has three goals for the Society for the coming year. Signing up more members  is the first goal, and to do so, she has assigned Carlucci, Spikes and Pataky as membership committee chairmen.

Cumber also said she wants to find solutions for parking issues in San Marco, particularly around the square, and to continue to improve on the work that Dickson started during his tenure. “We want smart growth and walkability,” Cumber said. “We chose to live in San Marco because we can walk everywhere.”

By Marcia Hodgson
Resident Community News

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