I am writing you this letter regarding imminent activities next to, and in front of, our cemetery. I am interested both to inform and to quell certain rumors that have been brewing that are not correct but are fomenting unrest. [While I understand why these rumors started, they could have been avoided had persons checked with me to get accurate information before going public with what is a misrepresentation of our plans].
The Diocese owns land touching on the eastern side of our cemetery toward International Gulf Parkway (IGP). Due to the sale of the that property, there will be new development on that land. This will also entail creating a new driveway for the Our Lady of Good Counsel (OLGC) cemetery; this drive will be slightly to the west of the present entry. This move is necessary to facilitate a deceleration lane when driving from the busy intersection of IGP and SR 16 to the new entry. The entry will service both the cemetery and the adjacent land under development. (This plan will not impede entrance to the cemetery].
The plans are of great benefit to the parish and to the use of our cemetery because there is also planned a new full-median cut on SR16, where the new driveway will be. This will allow access to our wholly owned Parish cemetery from both directions.
Currently, most people access the cemetery by crossing over the painted angled lines on SR16 to make a U-turn. This is hazardous, and there have been several accidents along that stretch of the highway. The only other way to access our property would require driving to the corner of SR16 and International Golf Parkway, turning left on a busy stretch of IGP with schools, to find a place where you can legally make a U-turn to get back on SR16 to access the church. What a circuitous route this would entail! We are blessed that this direct access will be provided.
A fence with a gate has also been proposed. This could run parallel SR 16 across the cemetery and/or demarcate the OLGC cemetery from the property presently owned by the diocese. A considerable width of greenery will also be part of the plan. Details are still being reviewed.
We are also likely going to rezone from rural to commercial the parish land in front of the cemetery. This will optimize the value of that land, which could be helpful in the future. The method for rezoning requires certain ‘example’ drawings of possible use. This does not mean that what has been depicted in the proposal to the county is in the works at this time. In fact, there is nothing planned for the land in front of the cemetery other than the new driveway and fencing.
In the future, OLGC will likely need to apply for loans for expansion and ultimately to build the mother-church. Optimizing the value of our aggregate land assets cannot hurt if we apply for a collateralized mortgage in the future. We have positioned ourselves well to date by ridding our mortgage debt over the past several years.
There has also been talk of selling the cemetery or the land in front of it. This is pure rumor, completely false and has no basis in fact. Over the past ten years the parish has invested considerable money into the upkeep and beautification of these properties. I would estimate this to be about a quarter of a million to three-hundred thousand dollars. More monies will be spent going forward.
I and others have been receiving calls with mis-information and also some threats with serious legal implications. I hope this letter clarifies any misunderstandings regarding the rezoning proposal before the county. I had also addressed these matters with parishioners at every mass on the weekend of Feb. 20-21, and no one voiced any concerns.
It is my hope that persons will abide in the peace and good of the Lord when discussing such matters. And I wish that same Peace and Good to all.
Father Guy (Noonan)
NB: See below information of standard public meeting.
NOTICE OF A VIRTUAL (CMT) COMMUNITY MEETING WEDNESDAY, MARCH 3, 2021 @ 6:00 PM
NOTICE OF A NORTHWEST SECTOR COMMUNITY PLANNING PUBLIC PARTICIPATION MEETING REGARDING the Mill Creek Crossing Planned Unit Development (PUD 2020-12). The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 6:00 pm via Zoom and interested people are invited to participate. In accordance with St. Johns County Emergency Proclamation 2020-10, this meeting may be conducted remotely, under communications media technology (CMT), without physical presence required. CMT means the electronic transmission of printed matter, audio, full motion video, freeze frame video, compressed video and digital video by any method available. CMT being used to conduct this meeting include phone and video.
To join the meeting at the allotted time above from your computer, tablet or smartphone, please log into:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84779676414?pwd=cnJyNFFUeFBTMlNjeklCM0V5QkVsU T09 with Passcode: 823570 OR Zoom app with Meeting ID: 847 7967 6414 with Passcode: 823570
Meeting ID: 847 7967 6414 Passcode: 823570
Direct dial in using your phone is an option for audio only or to accompany the web based presentation.
Meeting Call-in #: 1 (301) 715-8592 US Meeting ID: 847 7967 6414 Passcode: 823570
The Zoom app can be downloaded in advance in order to be ready when the meeting starts:
NOTICE OF NORTHWEST SECTOR COMMUNITY PLANNING PARTICIPATION MEETING is being held to allow the public an opportunity to learn about and participate in the planning for the Mill Creek Crossing Planned Unit Development, which is located along State Road 16, just west of its intersection with International Golf Parkway and Pacetti Road, adjacent to Mill Creek Academy. The project is proposed for up to 54,000 square feet of general business and commercial space with associated site improvements, preservation of the existing cemetery with the addition of a garden, and preservation of a significant amount of related wetlands and uplands along Mill Creek.
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT a community meeting will be held to discuss the proposed application on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 from 6:00pm to 7:00pm utilizing Zoom web meeting software. The public is welcome to attend and participate.
NOTICE TO PERSONS NEEDING SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS AND TO ALL HEARING IMPAIRED PERSONS: In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, persons needing a special accommodation to participate in the proceedings should contact Mark Shelton 904-828-3933. For hearing impaired individuals: Florida Relay Service: 1-800-955-8770, no later than five (5) days prior to the date of the community meeting. For other related questions, please contact Karen M. Taylor @ 904-826-0600 with questions.