Amelia Island Alert to Citizens Re: Building Height Change could impact future of height restrictions in development on American Beach
There is a BOCC meeting at 6pm on May 23, at which they will vote on a proposed settlement of the Riverstone Properties lawsuit regarding Riverstone's intent to build 85 foot tall condominiums on the beautiful, unspoiled south end of Amelia Island.
Show up and have a voice!
Either in person at:
James S. Page Governmental Complex, 96135 Nassau Place, Yulee, FL 32097
or via Zoom : Webinar ID: 824 1114 6045, Password: 987321
"Home to a rare maritime forest ecosystem and unique array of flora and fauna, Amelia Island offers an escape to the wonders of nature and the sea."
Part One - What's at issue
On Friday May 13, 2022, the Fernandina Beach News Leader carried the following article:
The article goes on to say that in this proposal, the county agreed with Riverstone that the maximum building height for multiple-family dwellings and other permitted structures on the property is 85 feet.
In the proposed lawsuit agreement, Riverstone will:
be protected from future amendments to Nassau County's Land Development Code and Comprehensive Plan;
maintain a 100-foot buffer along First Coast Highway;
be able to build the condo towers within 20 feet of the Coastal Construction Control Line;
donate 200 feet of property along the existing park to the county, which will then be responsible to pay for a park;
be given developer contribution credits worth $11 million for its land donation;
not be subject to future changes in Nassau County's tree ordinances or regulatory protections;
receive tree mitigation credits to limit impact to protected trees from property development.
Part Two - Objections
On May 18, 2022, the News Leader carried the following full page paid advertisement:
Part Three - What the BOCC said about height restrictions at their June 14, 2021 meeting
It is the intent of these changes to protect the unique character of the barrier island and provide for sustainable shoreline development. The ecology and aesthetics of Amelia Island’s unique and fragile coastline would benefit from lower building heights, which would help to retain scenic views enjoyed by residents and visitors. Keeping building height more in line with tree canopy height will provide a long-term public benefit that will help retain the Island’s charm and unique character, a quality of life factor that will strengthen the Island’s economy and culture.
The ordinance has been reviewed by the County Attorney. The changes are generally in keeping with the Comprehensive Plan. Policies call for LDC standards to protect neighborhoods from incompatible development (which can include the visual impact of tall buildings) while also protecting property rights.