St. Augustine residents split over proposed inn | News

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St. Augustine residents split over proposed inn
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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A proposed inn or hotel in St. Augustine appears to be dividing a neighborhood.

The St. Augustine City Commission is meeting Monday evening with plans to discuss the rezoning of the property where a man wants to create the inn.

It sits on the corner of Bridge and Cordova streets.

If you look around the neighborhood just south of downtown St. Augustine, the yards signs show the division. Some neighbors support something called a planned unit development (PUD), and others do not.

"The community gets along so well and all of a sudden it's contentious as to different viewpoints," said St. George Street resident Donna King-O'Loughlin said.

This PUD pertains to the former Dow Museum property.

The property's new owner, David Corneal, wants to restore the eight buildings on the half block into an inn, and call it the Cordova Inn. But he needs the city to rezone the property, so he can turn it into an inn.

Some neighbors adamantly oppose an inn, saying it will generate more traffic and disturb their otherwise quiet neighborhood.

"If the city commission allows this, they are opening the window to many other exemptions that could possibly change the nature and face of the neighborhood," said resident Joe Fox, who's against the project.

But other people on the same street have different signs in the yard, and they support the proposed inn or hotel.

King-O'Loughlin is one of them. "I think it's a good use of the property. The fact it will enable it to bring in the revenue that will be able to bring the properties up to what they should be."

Melissa Stuart, who worked on the site when it was a museum, would manage the inn if the project passes muster with the city. "I think it is the least intrusive of anything we could possibly do to sustain financially the restoration of eight historic buildings and 400 years of history that is on this property," Stuart said.

Parking would be provided across the street in an already established lot at the former St. Augustine Record building.


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