We have a wonderful residential community, but businesses are a vital part of our tax base, and make our town vital and thriving. Growth will come, and it is the job of the City Council to assure that such growth is appropriate for the community.

I, along with many of you, was opposed to the development of the apartment complex at 500 Atlantic. The text of a letter I sent to The Beaches Leader appears below. I felt that the density proposed by the developer was not appropriate for our community, and there were other issues with the development. I do want to see the property developed, and firmly support the rights of the property owner to develop it in a way that is consistent with the character of the community. I hope to see such a proposal from the developer and property owner in the near future, and will evaluate such a proposal keeping the community in mind, should the proposal contain requests for variances and/or special exceptions. I look forward to the opportunity to work with the developer towards a successful repurposing of this important commercial parcel.

Every community must grow and change to thrive. But such growth must be consistent with our values to maintain our quality of life at the beach.

To The Editor:

The developer of the proposed 500 Atlantic PUD has delivered its fourth submission for the development to the City of Neptune Beach. I stand with the many residents of the community opposed to the development as it is proposed.

I do not feel that 199 apartments in that area is an appropriate use. The developer is still seeking two variances of the city’s municipal code in order to be approved for the project, and there are multiple improvements that must be made to the city’s infrastructure for such a development to be viable. While the developer has submitted a plan for making these improvements, there are still several issues that need to be addressed to assure that city services are adequate to accommodate the proposed development.

I am certainly not opposed to the redevelopment of the property. No one wants to see the parcel sit idle and continue in a blighted condition. But this development potentially has impacts that will last for decades. The Community Development Board, the city staff and the City Council need to very carefully review this proposal to assure that any development minimizes “the threat to health, safety and welfare posed by high density, traffic congestion and environmental degradation” as outlined in the city’s 2012-2022 Comprehensive Plan.

(Appeared in the June 14, 2018 edition of the Beaches Leader)

Paid for by Tom Patton for Neptune Beach City Council, Seat 4