More to the story
Regarding the airport, one of the commissioners said the three owners had been asked to get their own reviews. It’s true, however; there is more to the story.
The FAA had a zoom meeting with the city. Notes from this meeting included the following:
- The Uniform Act applies to this land acquisition.
- The FAA strongly recommends that the city retain a firm familiar with this law.
- The city did not follow the Uniform Act, they went under their own city code.
The offer stated that we could “obtain an assessment at our expense to render a third opinion.” If we choose this opportunity, under the city ordinances code, the city can consider the average of the two closest valuations. When our lawyer asked what would happen if our ratings came back much higher, the city said it “probably won’t entertain them.”
The two evaluations showed a difference of 18.65%. This is an important difference. After being told it would cost between $ 2,500 and $ 5,000 to get an assessment, it seemed unnecessary.
The Uniform Act allows for negotiations and helps people displaced from their homes with resettlement or moving costs.
The owners did not know and had not been met about the easements. Yet in the environmental report signed in March 2018, the city said it had met with the three owners and that they were in favor of the easements. We never knew of an easement until January 2019, when we received a certified “Notice to Owner”.
When we personally received an “owner’s offer”, the city mentioned that an RPZ (collision zone) was installed on our property.
The reason why a prominent estate attorney was hired is that not only did five attorneys say the city had done the first two steps of the eminent estate, but we were finding things the city didn’t tell us, like wanting more of 622 jet operations and become an airport executive; and study the feasibility of increasing the number of critical design aircraft to C-II to encourage larger business jets with faster approach speeds and requiring more fuel.
Does the city realize that with bigger jets it needs a 1,700-foot RPZ instead of a minimum 1,000-foot RPZ? Also, later we found out that there were four trees west of their RPZ easement and the city said they could just take those trees for free, because of chapter 333. We weren’t informed – we had to research everything.
Editor’s Note: The Town of Ormond Beach has been given an opportunity to respond.
City: Ormond Beach Airport has been an active airfield in the community since 1943 as a training center for the Navy and as a general aviation airport since 1959. All planned improvements to the airport are part of the airport master plan. All planned improvements to the airport are announced in accordance with federal and state protocols, which include an advertisement in the newspaper. Public meetings regarding the runway extension project took place on the following dates: April 28, 2015, August 24, 2015, January 2, 2018 and March 23, 2018.
The runway extension project was never a matter of eminent domain, only a voluntary acquisition. The owners have asked the city to consider purchasing the properties in full. The city has agreed to view the purchase of the properties as voluntary acquisitions. The city has conducted two independent and certified property appraisals. The owners disagreed with the estimated values and were unwilling to justify their asking price with a certified appraisal.
The city’s planned airport improvement projects will not allow the use of the airport by planes larger than those that can currently use the airport.
It is not too late
First of all, thanks to Mayor Partington for convening the special meeting, and thanks to Mayor and Commissioner Selby for advocating for the very reasonable request to put the demolition of Union Church on hold in order to fully explore all options available for church ownership.
I think most people would agree that the argument for delaying the demolition is compelling, and we can’t understand why it would be denied. The arguments of Commissioners Kent, Persis and Littleton against such a delay were weak, as it is possible that the building was reasonably salvageable. As regards rodents and asbestos, these will have to be removed whether the building is demolished or preserved.
Finally, addressing the financial value, profitability and “money attached” to the property, as Commissioner Selby has pointed out, how can this be determined without the ability to fully research all options? For example, the church may be eligible for a grant. Also, it makes no sense to deny potential investors – such as Salty Church – a chance to further consider the call option.
Commissioner Littleton: What is your asking price?
People are asking for more time. We know it’s not too late for Commissioners Kent, Persis or Littleton to change their minds (and their votes), which might not be easy, but it’s the right thing to do. .
Ken and Julie Sipes
Editor’s Note: This letter was originally addressed and submitted to the Town of Ormond Beach Commission.
Granada Boulevard should not be a highway, even if it is legally
One number on a shield can lead to many confusing priorities. Ormond Beach’s main street, Granada Boulevard, is part of State Road 40, a national highway that stretches from Ormond Beach to Dunnellon, passing through countless towns like Ormond Beach. Its designation as a freeway may confuse its purpose, but let’s be clear: those few blocks, from US 1 to A1A, must be a street, not a road or a Stroad (A Stroad is a hybrid street / road. It is the futon of transportation alternatives. Where a futon is a piece of furniture that serves as both an uncomfortable sofa and an uncomfortable bed, a Stroad is not a high street or a high road).
In the city center, cars should move slowly and cautiously, and planning priority should be given to creating a prime destination. There is a very direct conflict between safety and speed. Driving at 35 mph is too fast.
We need to redesign the pavement to slow down traffic, and signage alone will not be enough. If drivers passing through our city center (using Granada as their route of travel) have their commute extended by a minute or two, so be it. It’s a minute or two. There are other routes to the beach that they can take that would take much longer.
Bill Partington II
Editor’s Note: Bill Partington II is the mayor’s father, and he recently completed the Speed Mitigation and Speed Management course from the FDOT Design and Applications Training Manual from the Center for Urban Transportation Research.
Water taxi madness, bait and switch?
I once had a boss who was an old country boy, and like most people of his kind, he had a long common sense. When presented with questionable information, he would say “don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining”.
The Cross Florida Barge Canal was a corporate proposal to abandon the Withlacoochee and Ocklawaha rivers for a barge canal for maritime interests. One thing that helped defeat him was called a “cost / benefit” analysis. Basically, is the cost worth what you get? It takes 30 seconds to travel 1,500 feet across the Granada Bridge by car, rain or shine. By water taxi you are exposed to the elements, you have to load / unload and keep walking for blocks. Water taxi users would take up valuable public parking space from park users.
Who buys / maintains / stores the boat, stays at the dock all day and pays the operating costs?
A design of $ 50,000, a high cost of the wharf, an additional cost to design and build an Eastside wharf to disembark at Fortunato Park would be absurd. Are you using our taxes to compete with private taxis and Uber?
Let’s discuss the bait and the trade. Suggest one thing, do another. There are enough docks in the parks of Granada, especially Cassen Park. The only logical place left to build one is, you guessed it, next to the developers’ private underwater property next to the park, which would give owners free public funding. docks and access to the park.
Details of the nearly $ 1 million bait house are unclear, but it is said to include a kitchen for food preparation and an office. The current location of the bait shop is considered “unsafe” and too close to water.
Will we have a gazebo built there, eliminating the best view of the river and the au pair fishing location? Another new gazebo is also included, in an unknown location. What else is hidden in this nearly $ 1 million prize?
We were told that the floating dock breakwater would be an innovative, eco-friendly and aesthetic oyster bar with mangrove islands. You see what we have. The multi-million dollar floating dock project and rocky breakwater, space for 8-10 boats ($ 150,000 per person) and a concrete horror. The continued push for more dockage makes it look like the city wants to set up a marina in stages. This image is a clue. When asked about the sign, the city removed it the next day.
Wake up boaters, fishermen, park users, express yourself! Do not market our river parks.