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The Local Agenda: Gainesville City Council to take 2nd vote on guns in parks

POSTED: December 2, 2013 11:59 p.m.

Gainesville City Council is scheduled to take a final vote to update its law allowing guns in parks at its meeting today.

A 2010 state law allows people to carry guns in city parks as long as the person has a valid carry license. However, Gainesville has not changed its code to conform with the law. 

City code prohibits people from having items such as shotguns, air rifles, bows and explosive substances in a park. The change would ban from parks all weapons except guns.

Other weapons still would not be allowed to be discharged or exploded on or over park property, but firearms could be discharged in certain conditions and situations, including self-defense, with a governmental permit or as part of a historical re-enactment.

Gainesville City Council to make appointments

Members of the Gainesville City Council are expected to vote on several appointments at their 5:30 p.m. meeting today. 

The Parks and Recreation Board has three positions, which run for five years, open. The position for Ward 1, currently held by Jennifer Puryear; Ward 3, held by Jeffrey Gross; and Ward 5, held by Chris Romberg, are on the agenda. The board sets policy.

Friends of Gainesville Parks Inc. is a nonprofit group that has about a third of its board appointed by the City Council. The group does an annual butterfly release and fundraising for the parks. 

Its board also has three positions for the council to look at, including seats held by Michael Graham and Deb Gregson, and the seat Glenn Austin previously occupied.

New cemetery advisory committee to hold 1st meeting on Wednesday

The Alta Vista Cemetery Advisory Committee created last month by the Gainesville City Council is holding its first meeting at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

There are five committee members who have staggered terms, with Margaret Howington and Nancy Kelemen serving for one year; Ben Mason and Bill Coates serving for two years; and Charlie Peoples serving a three-year term.

New business on the agenda includes recent activity, perpetual care overview, cemetery rules, and monument placement and care. 

The meeting is slated to be held in the Bill Williams Conference Room at 300 Henry Ward Way, Gainesville. 

Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board to hear rezoning request again

Landowner Michael Slate is again requesting permission to rezone less than an acre of property on Lanier Avenue in Gainesville and convert an existing single-family home into an office.

The planning board voted in January to recommend the project with five conditions; however, the Gainesville City Council denied the request. 

The proposed change includes a five-space parking lot and the widening of the existing driveway. The house is 1,450 square feet with the detached garage staying. 

The property shares a boundary with a SunTrust Bank Inc. and is close to other businesses, including a Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and the law firm of Coleman & Chambers LLP.

Slate has owned the property since 2004 and used it as a rental home. 

Three people from the Riverside Commons neighborhood spoke against the request at the City Council meeting in February, saying they were concerned that could lead to more commercial development.

Sarah Mueller covers government issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her:

smueller@gainesvilletimes.com

facebook.com/TimesSarahMueller

@SMTheTimes


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