City of St. Augustine sets one year limit on certificates of demolition

Certificates of demolition will expire under an ordinance adopted by the St. Augustine City Commission on Monday night.


The ordinance, which commissioners unanimously approved, sets a one year expiration date on certificates of demolition from the Historic Architectural Review Board.

People can apply for a six-month administrative extension or a one year board extension under the ordinance.

“Once the extension is expired, then the applicant would have to reapply,” City Attorney Isabelle Lopez said.

HARB hears applications for demolition for buildings 50 years and older.

Once a ­certificate of demolition is approved and any conditions are met, the city Planning and Building Department can issue the demolition permit.

David Birchim, the city’s Planning and Building Department director, said in a recent interview it’s common for communities to limit certificates of demolition to one or two years.

Certificates of demolition that have already been issued will be honored, according to the ordinance.

In other business

• Mark Litzinger, city financial services director, said Hurricane Matthew is estimated to have caused about an $11 million loss to the city’s total taxable value. He said that is according to a recent estimate by the St. Johns County Property Appraiser’s office. How that could affect the city’s next budget in terms of property tax revenue remains to be seen.

• Commissioners approved a priority list of several transportation projects, including King Street drainage and design improvements. The commission also supported adding Anastasia Boulevard upgrades after Vice Mayor Todd Neville suggested it, citing traffic-related deaths on the road.

The project list, which also includes State Road 313, will go to the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization. The organization will make a list of projects from the region to send to the Florida Department of Transportation to be considered for the department’s five-year work program.

• City Manager John Regan said the city plans to recommend changes to archaeology fees and archaelogy staff as the city gets into its strategic planning for the budget, a process he said is coming up soon. The city has one professional archaeologist, City Archaeologist Carl Halbirt, according to a city memo. Halbirt is supported by volunteers. The city is considering adding a full-time assistant archaeologist.

• Regan and Mayor Nancy Shaver plan to go to Tallahassee today, and Shaver is expected to give introductory comments “on a grassroots movement” related to flood control funding for coastal cities and counties, Regan said. They’ll also check on bills that would fund city water-related projects, like backflow prevention — to help with routine flooding — in Davis Shores.