ORANGE PARK – The Town Council agreed after a second reading to rezone the office building at 1279 Kingsley Ave. from Commercial Professional Office to Commercial Neighborhood which will allow the …
ORANGE PARK – The Town Council agreed after a second reading to rezone the office building at 1279 Kingsley Ave. from Commercial Professional Office to Commercial Neighborhood which will allow the property to be used for convenient shopping.
“I’ve done some research on this property, and as far as parking spaces, it qualifies. The water, sewer, everything qualifies. My concern was maybe the sewer lines weren’t large enough or the water lines weren’t large enough. There’s plenty of room for capability there. I asked about a traffic study for this, it is not required,” said Mayor Randy Anderson in a sequence preceded by neither public comment nor debate from the council.
All five council members seem to favor a final approval, but they need to see site plans and get more information before the project can move forward.
“After all of the research I’ve done, this property qualifies for rezoning,” Anderson said. A representative from the property corporation was asked to speak by Councilwoman Susana Thompson.
“My plan is to keep the same neighborhood, small-town feel, and of course, the existing office space will continue.” The businessman would also like to add a small coffee shop, bakery, and restaurant. “I definitely wanted to make that a good gathering place for the community.”
In other business, the Town Council amended its 2023-2024 fiscal budget and approved the second reading of an ordinance that will modify cemetery rules and regulations.
Council members also heard a plan to change the town’s purchasing policy.
Town Manager Sarah Campbell said the reason for the changes was to provide more consistency across all departments.
“The purchasing policy itself only reflected authority for the council, the manager, and the department heads. It never actually gave them policy authority to make purchases, and we realized that it was somewhat inconsistent,” she said.
““What we’re recommending is to make it consistently $1,000 level for those administrative employees. Again, it’s three employees, one in each of those departments, that would now have policy approval to make purchases up to the $1,000 level.”
Previously, the Police Department had an authority level of zero, while Economic and Community Development had $1,000, while Public Works had the same level as the Director ($7,000).
“I expect we’ll get an audit comment this year, because we have administrative people making purchases that technically weren’t authorized by the policy, and this codifies it and puts the policy into writing and sets it at a level that the department heads are comfortable with for their administrative support staff,” Campbell concluded.
The council also heard the first reading of an ordinance amending of the Land Development Regulations to Require Notice for Design Review Board Applications and the First Reading of an Ordinance Amending Article II of the Land Development Review Regulations Regarding Household Pets. A second consent item allows for household pets to include hens and it raises the number of full-grown pets allowed to reside within a dwelling from four to five.
That motion passed, 5-0.
In other news, spirited productive discussions involved residents about speed limits in residential districts, mixed-use comprehensive plans, town manager evaluation, River Road cleanup and the town election date.
Tuesday’s meeting was the Town Council’s one and only December gathering due to the onset of the Christmas holiday and other religious and ethnic holidays that will be celebrated later this month.
The Town’s next meeting will be Tues, Jan 10.