Amelia Concours d’Elegance

IMG 1307A local favorite event, the greatest part of the show, in my opinion, is the exceptional support for local charities.   In looking over the website for this year’s show, it took me a few minutes to locate information on donation to the foundation or a summary of the supported charities.  

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Please enjoy the show, take home a few memories of the island and consider the underlying accomplishment.    

Charity – Amelia Concours d’Elegance:

Now in its second decade, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is among the top automotive events in the world. Always held the second full weekend in March “The Amelia” draws nearly 250 rare vehicles from collections from around the world to The Golf Club of Amelia Island and The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island for a celebration of the automobile like no other. Since 1996 the show’s Foundation has donated over $2.5 million to Community Hospice & Palliative Care and other deserving charities from Florida’s First Coast.

Flood Zones and Twitter Reminder from Nassau County Emergency Services

Do you need flood insurance?  Worth remembering, we’ve flooded twice in the 1% 100 year flood areas.  See below for more information,  but think before removing flood insurance from your budget.   

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According to Nassau County Emergency Management, “Even if you live in an area with only a 1% chance annually of flooding, you should have #NFIP Flood Insurance! In the past 18 months, we’ve seen severe flooding TWICE in those “just 1% chance per year” areas.” https://t.co/8gPCptBeK9

— NassauEM (@NassauEM) February 28, 2018

 

Flood Zones | FEMA.gov:

Flood hazard areas identified on the Flood Insurance Rate Map are identified as a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). SFHA are defined as the area that will be inundated by the flood event having a 1-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. The 1-percent annual chance flood is also referred to as the base flood or 100-year flood. SFHAs are labeled as Zone A, Zone AO, Zone AH, Zones A1-A30, Zone AE, Zone A99, Zone AR, Zone AR/AE, Zone AR/AO, Zone AR/A1-A30, Zone AR/A, Zone V, Zone VE, and Zones V1-V30. Moderate flood hazard areas, labeled Zone B or Zone X (shaded) are also shown on the FIRM, and are the areas between the limits of the base flood and the 0.2-percent-annual-chance (or 500-year) flood. The areas of minimal flood hazard, which are the areas outside the SFHA and higher than the elevation of the 0.2-percent-annual-chance flood, are labeled Zone C or Zone X (unshaded).

Cafe Karibo Tops Local Recommendations…Kombucha, Seafood, Courtyards and more…

Cafe Karibo is one of the places I enjoy sharing with clients.   With, literally, something for everyone, I can find a healthy choice or one of the best burgers on the island.   The back courtyard is also one of the prettiest places I’ve ever seen for lunch or a quiet meal.  If you’ve ever considered creating an outdoor space, this is one of the best local examples of an outdoor fireplace and dining. Local color like the “Before I Die” board, local seafood and creative daily specials….this place just tops my list of local recommendations. tUGyIrMeRPKGoCZwEW5IPA.jpgN1sec5gGQugYhj6f716w.jpg

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Today, my wife enjoyed the soup of the day and I ordered a favorite, the veggie wrap and a kombucha tea from their local supply.   As usual, I thought to take a picture with only 1/4th left, but you get the idea.  Completely full of fresh vegetables and tofu, this is a very healthy choice and more than enough for lunch.

No Longer Beaches

We’re so diverse, has anyone considered just how many people come here for reasons “Not the Beach”?

7 quick reasons to live or visit Amelia Island….

  1. The environmental areas are amazing with trees sometimes well over 100 years in age.
  2. Fishing excursions and boating make this a great place to live.  Ramps very near ocean access mean a lot.
  3. Bikes enjoy runs to the historic district, including the oldest watering hole in the state.
  4. The farmer’s market is fun on the weekend.   Live music and lots of local food.
  5. Exceptional architecture and renovations of historic buildings mean something new, even if you come here every year or live in the area.
  6. Jobs bring people.  The diverse economy is as important as tourism.
  7. Don’t forget the Cuban coffee!   I like coffee, but Hola on North 2nd is my favorite stop.

…but then, we do have really great beaches.

Age of Your Live Oak Tree

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Live oaks on Amelia Island are some of the most resilient local inhabitants.  Unlike the water oak, they tend to live longer and weather storms.   Considering the age of a tree, I’d like to estimate the age of a tree with a 72” diameter, using the formula below.   Typically, the diameter is calculated by measuring the circumference at 4 to 5 feet above the ground and using that number to calculate a diameter.   

 

How to Age a Live Oak Tree | Hunker:

The first 10 inches in diameter indicate an age of 76 years. Each inch after that adds six-and-a-half years up to age 154. After that, each inch adds six years.

72 Total Inches

First 10 inches  – 76 years

Then, the next 12 inches… takes us to 154 years.   After that…I’m guessing 22 inches in diameter, we still need to account for the last 50 inches at 6 years per inch.    (50×6)+154= 454 years.  That can’t be right!   Let’s compare the “Treaty Oak” age estimate in Jacksonville.  Apparently, the Treaty Oak’s estimated age is 250 years, with around 95 inches in diameter and a 25’ circumference.   If I use this number, a 72 inch oak in Fernandina might be closer to 190 years in age.  There is variation in growth rate, depending on location, water, surrounding vegetation, but seeing a tree like this as 150 to 200 years in age is reasonable.   These trees could have been saplings when Louis-Michel Aury was on the island in 1817.   

IMG 0881Regardless, big oaks are old and should be protected.  I’d love to think the big oaks I grew up with might be around for another 200 years, but the island is changing.   Looking for creative ways to develop property can preserve trees and homeowners are beginning to see the value of this preservation.    Depending on the configuration of a site, sometimes losing lots can be offset by the premium for larger lots and reduced cost for infrastructure.  

Bakeries, Breweries, Restaurants…Music, Apartments and Collision Density

I can’t stop thinking of collision density and changes to more urban areas, like Fernandina’s Historic District.  When you see a small downtown area add a variety of uses or change zoning to encourage mixed use, in my opinion, there is a potential for adding value.  Density aside, adding density to a property with existing structures can be a way to encourage redevelopment.  In an older are, protected by historic guidelines, any remodel can be an unknown and expensive undertaking.  Allowing more possibilities can make preservation and utilization of a space more feasible.   Think about a second floor with zoning allowing office, retail or restaurant uses.   The space, if used as an office, might allow 20 desks. Each desk could represent an employee and each employee might need a parking space.  That same area, if used for apartment spaces, might only convert to 2 or 3 apartments.  Each apartment might represent 1 to 2 cars.  Lets be generous and call it a total of 6 vehicles.  The times parking might be in demand, assuming these apartments are long term rentals or homes, would probably be after the 9 to 5 typical business day. So, two things happen.  We create differe nt uses, with the potential to add value to existing business and add value to residential uses, often in high demand near a downtown commercial district.  We also find added parking by changing the times a developed use might require space.  Finally, we encourage preservation by offering a path toward choice.  Limiting choices in the use of a historic property can actually make it more difficult to find buyers willing to invest in the preservation.  Historic guidelines set limits, but too strictly limiting the kinds of use can sometimes turn away an owner willing to invest.   Given, I’m thinking of buyers with an interest in living space or short term rental, but I’ve also watched buyer interest in older buildings shift to conversion of upstairs commercial space into residential space.

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122 South 8th Street is in the middle of a changing part of 8th Street.   Looking at surrounding property, consider the dramatic changes at the old Fred’s location when Buy-Go opened.  Now, less than a block away, we’re probably going to see a true mixed use of the site with a healthy mix of residential and commercial uses.  David’s recently reopened as the 801 Kitchen and T-Rays Burger Station has been poplar for as long as I can remember.  Changing the density allowed in C-3 zoning and the overlay district leading toward downtown, MU8, I believe, should add to the changes happening in this previously overlooked, but transitioning area.

The old Pecan Roll is also zoned C-3 and has the potential for office, retail, food sales and even residential use as a part of the site.  In walking distance to Center Street, the demand for walkable space is high.  Offices, residential, retail or food is all possible and the “just reduced” price of $399,000,  is attracting interest.    Thinking of the lot size, 100’x100’, similar lots only blocks away are often 2-3 times this number.

See the current MLS information here.  

Rayonier Advanced Materials and Long Island History

IMG 0692Driving to the office earlier, I took the shortcut, passing Rayonier’s plant on the way.   The operation is almost invisible on the main roadways, other than the visible logging trucks turning down Gum Street, but this place is always on my mind.  In 1939, Ed Boner, Sr., came to Fernandina from the Grays Harbor location.   I grew up hearing stories about lines for jobs and chlorine leaks.  Mom would take me to drop off meals a the guard house, when Dad left his lunch on the counter.   All the diversity we have on the island and stability, in my opinion, are possible because the local mills provided jobs, when there were few jobs.  Shrimping, once a significant part of the local economy, is still important, but now more a part of the local history, not a major economic driver.  

Rayonier has been the biggest influence on Fernandina and on our county for decades.  In many ways, we are taking a last bite of development and seeing a best possible plan, because Rayonier owned the majority of land in Nassau County.  The luxury of being last and luxury of planned development will benefit Nassau County far more than most realize.  

 

 

 

NewImageHistory – Rayonier Advanced Materials:

1939 Rayonier completes construction on its first cellulose specialties plant in the Southeast in Fernandina Beach, Florida

Careful on Alachua!

One of the busier streets on the weekend, especially during the farmer’s market, Alachua Street is undergoing repairs to a swale and correction of a drainage issue (?) near 8th. The eroding bank appears to be reaching the stop sign, if you notice the lean.

History Online, Cemeteries and Spanish

Looking for interesting content tonight, I found something mentioning a public use for lots based on Spanish plans for Fernandina.   I’m assuming this meant “Old Town”, but I’m now curious.  The plat below is of Old Town and not a bad way to learn something the average visitor or local often overlooks.

On one trip to the local cemetery with my sons, we took the time to look up the history for a name on a headstone.  Highly under-rated, taking your children to the older section of the local cemetery leads to an education in itself.  I think we need to remember our history and think of it as real, but it has a way of making preservation and history a little more real.   and, if interested in a trip to Bosca Bello, the older section of the cemetery is deteriorated in places, but rich in history.

Highly recommended….The Amelia Island Genealogical Society http://www.aigensoc.org/ has an online data base of cemetery records and obituaries, as well as a wealth of local information.

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Both images above are snips and available from a variety of sources online.  I believe both are public, but my searches included American Memory, the Library of Congress, our own Nassau County Clerk’s website, Wikipedia and Google.