Ordinance targets ‘personal vehicles’ An ordinance “targeted mainly at provisions relating to personal vehicles that travel on rights-of-way, such as bikes, skateboards, and the like” goes before the City Commission Monday. The regular commission meeting begins at 5 pm in the Alcazar Room at City Hall and is live streamed on CoSA.TV. Assistant City Attorney John Cary says, “This ordinance is not a complete rewrite of the chapter (but) repeals individual provisions relating to roller skates, skateboards, and bikes, and replaces them with a more orderly scheme that applies to many types of non-automobile vehicles.” The ordinance limits non-state sidewalks to pedestrians, prohibits personal mobility devices on St. George Street unless approved for handicapped persons, and limits tour groups on mobility devices. “Tours with three or more people and a guide are only allowed on city streets, … in accordance with state law. However, Segway tours are allowed on streets or sidewalks, consistent with state law, as long as they yield to pedestrians,” Cary says. “This ordinance codifies that dockless shared mobility devices are not allowed unless there is a franchise agreement or other contractual relationship in place,” says Cary. The City Commission in December placed a moratorium on dockless mobility device sharing programs.
February 9 2019
Times for Pedro’s 500th Birthday The School of the Sixteenth Century is on Saturday Feb 9 at the Colonial Quarter. (9 am to 5 pm), and the showing of the PBS documentary “Secrets of Spanish Florida” at the Colonial Quarter will be on Thursday Feb 14 at 7 pm.  The City’s wreath laying ceremony is on Friday Feb 15, at 10 am at the Lightner Museum. That same evening there will be a 1565 History on the Streets Saunter along St. George Street.  Saturday Feb 16 a Paseo (procession) starts at 2:30 pm from the Visitor Center to the Governor’s House Museum along St. George Street.  Pedro Menendez’s Birthday Celebration is Saturday evening Feb 16 at the Pavilion at the Fountain of Youth. It is a ticketed event starting at 6:30 pm. 
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History’s Highlight St. Augustine's Menorcans    Old men, women and children in the center, younger, stronger men in front and behind, carrying wooden spears, the silent column of some 150 trudged north along the trail from New Smyrna to St. Augustine.    They were unconcerned about attacks from Indians, or being hunted by their overseers, or insects or beasts of the forest. In nine years they had suffered all forms of misery.    Three of their number had secretly made the 70-mile trek before them, and filed complaints with East Florida Governor Tonyn. This tattered band would testify further to broken contracts, forced labor, beatings and death at the hands of overseers charged with making a success of an agricultural colony carved out of the wilderness.    It was May 5, 1777, nine years and 18 days after their arrival on the Mosquito Coast.    The New Smyrna survivors were granted small parcels of land at St. Augustine where, their hopes finally realized, they quietly built new lives and became a major influence on the future development of St. Augustine.    Six years after the exodus, England returned Florida to Spain. The New Smyrna survivors remained - through Spanish, American and Confederate occupations and finally American statehood.    Reminders survive in the St. Photios Shrine on St. George Street, dedicated to the first Greek settlement in America. It was on the second floor of this building that the New Smyrna survivors met and prayed.    Reminders survive, too, in the many Menorcan descendants in St. Augustine today. Their heritage is honored each year as the ceremonial Royal Family of St. Augustine is chosen from their number.     Image: Detail in statue of Father Camps, the Menorcans' priest, in Cathedral Basilica's west courtyard.    Account from St. Augustine Bedtime Stories. Click for details on this fascinating historic series.
Tree code revisions go to public hearing Tree code revisions go to public hearing and final action by city commissioners Monday. The title “preserved” tree would be changed to "Significant" tree” and makes the Planning and Zoning Board (PZB) the reviewing authority for the removal of all "significant" trees. Current code makes PZB review necessary only if a significant tree removal is in conjunction with site plan review.
Tax collector to discuss tracking vacation rentals St. Johns County Tax Collector Dennis Hollingsworth visits the City Commission Monday to discuss vacation rental registrations. Hollingsworth is tracking rental properties to assure they are not homestead exempted. His appearance is one of a series of efforts commissioners decided on last month, including hearing from Hollingsworth and an Airbnb lobbyist, studying some white papers on the subject and getting community input as they move toward regulation of the surging vacation rental market. Planning and Zoning Director David Birchim provided initial research on how other Florida cities are tackling the vacation rental surge. “During my research one of the things that stood out,” Birchim told commissioners, “the silence was deafening as cities passed all these (restrictive) ordinances.”
Historic review board offers three openings Two seats and one alternate seat are available on the Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB). Chair Toni Wallace and Barbara Wingo are completing their first terms, and Randall Rourke is completing an alternate term he filled a year ago. City Clerk Darlene Galambos says the deadline to submit an application is Wednesday, March 13. Appointment is tentatively scheduled for the March 25 City Commission meeting. Find an application form here.
Menorcan Heritage Celebration 2019 The Menorcan Heritage Celebration 2019 will be held Saturday, March 2 in the courtyard of the Llambias House, located at 31 St. Francis Street. The celebration will begin at 1 1 am and continue until 3:00 pm. There will be guest speakers, music, storytelling, and datil peppers. Herb Greenleaf will be there to help you with family crests, Mike Usina will have his mullet nets and information on how to make one. Menorcan clam chowder and several types of pilau will be offered. Family photos and histories will be displayed.
Neighborhood grant requests are being accepted to March 1 Funding requests are being accepted for the city’s Neighborhood Enhancement Program focused on neighborhood quality of life. Project park benches or informational signage, or landscaping projects, such as shrubbery or trees. They must be on public property and completed before September 6. single requests are limited to $2,500 from the $15,000 pool. Find the funding request form here.