On behalf of the Springfield Preservation and Revitalization (SPAR) Board of Directors, residents and stakeholders we wish to express our appreciation for the City of Jacksonville's recent Written Interpretation of the Springfield Zoning Overlay regarding the proposed homeless housing facility at 139 Cottage Avenue.
We were encouraged and to see the City of Jacksonville, through its Planning and Development Department, make such a clear and well-reasoned statement in support of both the spirit and the letter of the Springfield Zoning Overlay. In particular, the inclusive interpretation of uses that might be considered as prohibited “special uses” is essential in preventing the intrusion of such uses in the Springfield neighborhood. These Special Uses were previously determined, by City Council and the Springfield community, to be a detriment to the health and viability of the Springfield neighborhood, and thus the Springfield Zoning Overlay was implemented in 2000 to address this issue. Understandably, residents and stakeholders were very alarmed at the possibility of the Ability homeless housing facility being established in this protected area and the negative precedent it would have created.
For many years, we have advocated for the preservation and revitalization of the Springfield Historic District. It is critical that the City of Jacksonville is also a participant, partner, and advocate in this endeavor. The Written Interpretation makes it clear that the City’s goals are aligned with ours, and that we can count on the City and the Planning and Development Department to uphold the Springfield Zoning Overlay that protects our neighborhood from inappropriate projects and development.
We look forward to continuing our work facilitating the projects, programs and developments that increase the quality-of-life in our unique and diverse community.
The SPAR Council Board of Directors