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Gilchrist County Remembers April 19, 2018 with prayer

County Administrator Bobby Crosby opened the Monday meeting with this Memorial message. On April 19th, 2018, 3 years ago today, Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Sergeant Ramirez and Deputy Lindsey, while on duty, were killed as they ate lunch at a local restaurant.
Alan Jackson wrote a song after 911 titled, “Where Were You”. For many of this community, I am sure you can remember exactly where you were on April 19th and what you were doing as you heard of the tragic news that caused our part of the world to stop turning.
As we continue through our daily lives, let’s always remember in our prayers those who have chosen to serve and protect this community, and let us remember the families of those who gave all. Sergeant Ramirez, Deputy Lindsey, Sheriff Read, and Trenton Town Marshall Slaughter.
Mr. Crosby opened the Monday afternoon meeting with prayer as he recognized the families of these officers that lost there their lives while on duty with the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office.
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Gilchrist County Attorney David M. Lang, Jr. reported to the Commission that Gilchrist County action to adopt a proclamation recognizing April 2021 as National Healthcare Decisions Month in Gilchrist County. John Jordan of Haven Hospice addressed the Commission to explain how important this time is, and the work that Haven Hospice is doing in the Gilchrist County community. Mr. Jordan thanked the Commission for recognizing and adopting the proclamation and allowing Haven Hospice to take this active role in communicating with the public in this area.
Commissioner Kenrick Thomas made a motion to approve the proclamation and recognize April 2021 as National Healthcare Decisions month in Gilchrist County. Commissioner Marion Poitevint gave a second to the motion before the board approved this action by a unanimous vote.
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Attorney Lang reported to the Commission that the City of Trenton would like to work with Gilchrist County in putting Speed Bumps on SW 15th Court. A resident of this area appeared before the City Commission in their last meeting to explain that traffic going north and south on this road, is traveling way to fast for safe conditions. The woman said, that she has grandchildren that are outdoors in this area, and she would like to see the traffic slowed down and travel a safe speed along the paved roadway. Mr. Lang explained that SW 15th Court is a border road for Trenton and Gilchrist County.
Gilchrist County Administrator Bobby Crosby reported that he would get with the Gilchrist County Road Superintendent Lu Leone and they would look at this area and see what can be done to slow this traffic to a safe speed.
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At 4:45 p.m. the Commission considered an application for a Variance 2021-03 by Michael Osteen as he represented Land Investments Company, Inc. of Branford. The applicant is seeking this variance to change an A2 Agriculture zone, 2.0 acre parcel to Commercial on US 129 North in Gilchrist County that formerly operated as Santa Fe Saloon.
The Gilchrist County Zoning Director, David M. Lang, Jr. reported that since the business closed and remained closed longer than 12 months, the zoning on this property reverts back to the Agriculture zoning. This property had previously been a bar/night club dating back to the 1970s. Mr. Lang explained that this business is a non-conforming Commercial business. The Zoning official explained that in order to reopen a business on this property, a variance is required.
Mr. Lang reported, that there is currently a concrete block structure where the former business was located. There is also a single family residential mobile home located on the property, that will have to be removed if the Commission approves the variance application. He went on to report that the applicant will have to seek a drive way permit through the Florida Department of Transportation. Currently, there are two entrants to the property from the highway, Mr. Lang explained, that he felt FDOT would want to have just one driveway from US 129 onto the adjacent parcel.
Mr. Lang reviewed the staff recommendations and recommended approval if the application adopts the 11 recommendations identified on the report.
Commissioner Darrell Smith asked staff if all surrounding properties had received a letter to explain this Variance 2021-03 was being considered to open a bar/nightclub on this property? Mr. Lang explained, that when a variance is being considered, the regulations don’t require Gilchrist County to make surrounding property owners aware of this Public Hearing.
Mr. Osteen explained, to the Commission that Mr. Ron St. John owns all of the property surrounding the 2 acre parcel on the east side of the highway. He went on to explain that he had spoke with Mr. St. John and he does not oppose the variance.
Mr. Lang reported that on the west side of the highway, there are three 10-acre parcels; one of these properties is a residence
Commissioner Darrell Smith asked, if there would be a buffer or a fence located on the edge of this property that would break it from the surrounding properties. Mr. Smith was told that there was not room for a buffer or a fence to be placed on the property edge.
Mr. Osteen explained, that his client would improve the property so much, that there will be no need for a fence to be located on the property. He added that his client have bars and night clubs in Suwannee and Columbia counties and those businesses are a great asset to those counties, Mr. Osteen added.
Commissioner Chairperson Sharon Langford called for a decision by the board, Commissioner Kenrick Thomas made a motion to approve Variance 2021-03 to allow the night club/bar to be located on the 2 acre parcel if the applicant complies with all the recommendations identified in the staff report. Commissioner Marion Poitevint gave a second to the motion before the Commission approved the motion by a 5-0 vote.