November 10, 2021, City Council Special Session Meeting Brief

November 12, 2021 –

            Council Business

  1. City of Green Cove Springs Joint City Council / Planning and Zoning Board Comprehensive Plan Update Presentation and Discussion


S&ME presented the following changes to the Comprehensive Plan Update since the first joint meeting in August and the second public workshop in October: Changing the category name “Employment Center” to “Industrial” in the proposed Future Land Use Map, creating a “RPO Neighborhood” category in the Future Land Use Map instead of originally consolidating the Residential Professional Office “RPO” category into the “Mixed Use” category, adding a new policy to prepare a neighborhood plan for MLK corridor based on public comments, reclassifying “Residential Neighborhood” category in the proposed Future Land Use Map to “Mixed Use,” added criteria in the Compatibility Objective to guide rezonings within the “Neighborhood” category of the proposed Future Land Use Map, took out policy recommending a Transportation Concurrency Exception area in downtown to instead focus on mobility strategies, added a completed Water Supply Plan and revised language ensuring that the City will update the Water Supply Plan within 18 months of the Regional Water Supply update completed by the Water Management District, revised the Recreation and Open Space section of the plan to move the focus of continuous improvement from just Spring Park to continuous improvements / expansions to all City Parks, adding guidance for the City to draft a Master Recreation Plan to address specific needs and park uses of the community, added policy to explore creative incentive programs in the downtown area to encourage the growth of downtown businesses, explore opportunities to attract new businesses by offering incentives in partnership with the Qualified Targeted Industries Tax Refund Programs offered by the State of Florida, and explore opportunities to partner with regional entities for secondary and tertiary Industrial / Commercial development.


Meeting Discussion:

City Council Member Van Royal voices concern of mobility and transportation fees on businesses with a mobility plan for downtown. Comp Plan will allow the City to decide to go to a mobility plan with a fixed mobility fee at a later time.


Questions and discussion from City Council on definitions of a Community and Neighborhood Park in the proposed Master Recreation Plan. Planning and Zoning Director Mike Daniels said that general definitions will be in the Comp Plan, which can serve as guides to further define the difference and how a Neighborhood Park can become a Community Park.


Daniels goes over short and long-term priorities. Council Member Royal asks about a CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency being added to the short-term priorities, and Daniels says that a CRA can be added. Mayor Ed Gaw would like a mobility fee study to be moved to the short-term priority list. Daniels says that these lists are flexible and open for discussion. Short term plans include: Parking Study (underway), Downtown Master Plan, Walnut Street Plan and Improvements (Discussion on Nov. 16), Economic Development Incentives, Special Area Plan for Reynolds Park, SR 17 Corridor Study, and Affordable Housing Code Changes/Incentives. Mid to Long-Term Plans include: Form Based Code for Downtown, Park Master Plan, Affordable Housing Code Changes/Incentives, Mixed Use District for Reynolds Park, Transportation Mobility Plan/Fee, MLK Corridor Neighborhood Plan, and LDC (Land Development Code) changes based on Comprehensive Plan Update.


After Nov. 10, 2021, joint meeting going into adoption process.


Mayor Gaw wants S&ME Director of Planning Pat Tyjeski’s thoughts on plan strengths and weaknesses. Strengths include streamlining the plan by adding goals without any arbitrary dates and focusing any land development changes to the land development code and not include it in the Comprehensive Plan. Mayor Gaw asks about longevity and Tyjeski responds that projected growth is an estimate and that the City should periodically look back at the Plan and compare projections with actual growth in order to critically look at any changes needed in priorities or goals.


Planning and Zoning Board Member Brian Cook asks if the goals in Plan are realistic and that both CC and PZB should look at prioritization with definite dates assigned on a yearly basis, once it is adopted.


City Council Member Royal would like to look at the proposed new zoning map and what’s the zoning for US 17 in the gateway corridor. Currently looking at designating that as mixed use for more flexibility. Royal would like it to be expanded to McDonalds by Governors Creek as well as on both sides of Palmetto Ave. Daniels said that the Comp Plan defines the categories, and City will go back to define the uses in each district.


Planning and Zoning Board Member Henrietta Francis wants Augusta Savage Museum and Mentoring Building to be included as a historic destination in the Comprehensive Plan. Daniels said that staff left the historic destinations vague in order to let the City and boards decided the specifics.


Planning and Zoning Board Member Cook comments on importance of riverfront and would like specifics on how to protect and define the riverfront (as an asset) in the Comprehensive Plan update, such as location range, development standards, and uses. City Manager Kennedy said that he is arranging for the CC and Staff to meet with consultants/engineers on how to best manage the City waterfronts.

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