Gate Fight is Back On! City is Allowing 24x7 Hours Operation

Atlantic Beach City Hall Meeting 5-8-17 - Courtesy of Floor

As you know, the possibility that the new Gate Gas Station will be open 24x7 has always been at the top of my and my neighbors’ objection list. We’ve been told that the next chance we would have to discuss this would be when the vertical plans permit was issued.  This has now been done.

I believe that the city is in error in approving this permit because it violates our zoning code – in particular Section 24-111(b).  That provision states that no uses shall have the potential for negative impacts to surrounding neighborhoods and properties due to excessive traffic, noise, light or extremely late hours of operation. 

How can any business open 24 hours a day NOT be considered extremely late hours of operation?

You probably are under the impression that this was decided a year ago at the quasi-judicial hearing. It was not even discussed during that hearing. The site development permit approval that Jeremy issued stated hours of operation would be decided when Gate applied for their alcoholic beverage license. It is my understanding, they have not yet taken this step.

You also may think hours of operation was decided in October.  That was when there was a meeting between Gate, the City Manager, the City Attorney and Chief Deal which ended with Chief Deal signing an acknowledgement letter that Gate’s attorney had pre-written. You may also recall that the City Attorney in the October 10 meeting indicated that because of this acknowledgement letter this decision surrounding 24x7 had been made.

It is incredulous to believe that our Chief of Police and City Attorney would have the right to determine hours of operation without regard to taking the intent of the entire zoning code into consideration.

In fact, on the city’s website on the Building Department’s page it states that all structures must comply with our zoning ordinances. I’m guessing that even Thomas Jefferson would say that common sense should prevail – and that 24x7 is in fact considered to be extremely late hours of operation – particularly when it would be adjacent to a neighborhood.

There are only 3 businesses in Atlantic Beach that are open 24x7 and none of them are adjacent to a neighborhood. Those 3 businesses are:  McDonalds, the Mobil at Sailfish and Atlantic and the Kangaroo at Mayport and Fleet Landing. There are only 2 convenience store/gas stations that could be considered adjacent to neighborhoods – and neither is open 24x7.

The proposed Gate gas station IS adjacent to our Saltair neighborhood.  Therefore, no way should it be allowed to operate 24x7.

I would like to know from you, your definition of extremely late hours of operation.  And, how on earth you could allow a new business to come in that is adjacent to a neighborhood and have these hours which don’t comply with our code?

Lastly, is the public to think that the City Attorney has overridden what Jeremy Hubsch said when he issued the approval for the site development permit?

I’m looking forward to your feedback.

Thank You

Glenn Shuck

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