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Precision Dermatology makes pitch for parking on Blake Avenue

Ordinance amended further to a temporary compromise

Posted 4/18/24

ORANGE PARK – The town council appeared to strike a short-term compromise between Precision  Dermatology and nearby residents during last Tuesday's meeting by continuing to permit …

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Precision Dermatology makes pitch for parking on Blake Avenue

Ordinance amended further to a temporary compromise


Posted

ORANGE PARK – The town council appeared to strike a short-term compromise between Precision Dermatology and nearby residents during last Tuesday's meeting by continuing to permit streetside parking on Blake Avenue along commercial buildings but to prohibit doing so along residences. 

Talks between Precision and Blake Avenue residents began earlier this year, although the controversy allegedly stretches back to 2018. Residents complained to the council that workers from the dermatology clinic were instructed to park on the street to make room in the parking lot for its patients. 

The town council committed itself to unclogging Blake Avenue, resulting in a draft of the “Blake Avenue Amendment” during its meeting last month.

Patients and staff packed Town Hall last Tuesday to join in solidarity with Dr.  Leonard Shvartzman and his clinic, making numerous pleas against passing the "Blake Avenue Amendment."

"Dr.  Shvartzman  is the eminent dermatologist around. People my age need his presence," one Precision patient and Orange Park resident said. 

"This man has saved my life at least once. Maybe twice. To force this man out of business would be a tragedy," another patient said. 

The residents responded in favor of the ordinance. 

"It would seem to me he has proven our point tonight. You can see the number of people in this meeting, patients and employees, that have gotten up to speak for him. There's just an inadequate amount of parking for his business. We don't want him to leave Orange Park. We want him to find somewhere that has adequate parking," one resident said. 

The town council amended the ordinance before passing it unanimously. Since Blake Avenue is a mixed commercial and residential street, town council decided to continue to permit streetside parking along commercial properties, such as Precision and Dreamette.

On the larger residential side of Blake, parking is prohibited (east of the commercial buildings to River Road) Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. except on holidays. That specific residential portion of Blake Avenue would be marked off with street signs to let commuters know when and where parking is prohibited.

The fine is $25.

The ordinance also includes a provision for commercial or heavy-use vehicles attempting to park on a public street or right-of-way, which would be enforced town-wide. The fine is $100.

Shvartzman spoke with Clay Today following the decision.

"When we moved to that office, there was street parking. To change that seems somewhat unfair," he said. 

Shvartzman said he has been working in Orange Park for 25 years treating more than 130,000 skin cancer cases. He wants to continue doing so. 

"We are committed to working with the community. We value the local homeowners. We will obey the ordinance as written. I'm heartened by the response by patients and staff. We hope to be in Orange Park for a long time," he said. 

The Orange Park Town Council meets monthly on the first and third Tuesdays. The next meeting will be May 7 at 7 p.m.