I received some interesting and enlightening responses about a story that was published on August 9, 2017, about a company named J&N Stone, their re-zoning request, their illegal dumping, and the need to re-pave this section of 42nd Street because of their massive truck activities along their stretch of this road.
The City of Davenport, Florida, by all accounts has had a poor record with enforcing attractive exterior appearances on our local businesses. Is it because there is no actual code of ordinances that deals with these issues? There’re bits and pieces of ordinances strewn throughout the code and there is this one section that deals with our businesses, but in the end The Code doesn’t matter.
Our commissioners don’t need the permission of a Code of Ordinances to go after businesses that look like drug dens, ones with “Forever For Sale” signs purposely painted and trashed to appear unattractive, and businesses that prove to be bad neighbors, as is J&N Stone. According to one of my readers, an expert source on this kind of information, “J&N’s product is cement-based, which means they use sand which contains silica which is a known irritant and carcinogen.”
We are a Home Rule city, which gives us permission to control our own local businesses. Our businesses should recognize that it is a privilege to locate in Davenport, but most don’t because in our previous administration, no one was enforcing them to be good neighbors.
Maybe that’s started to change though. In the case of J&N Stone, new city manager Kelly Callihan, “responded that he … talked to [J&N] about this situation and [they are] in the process of getting it cleaned up.”
No time table was provided for the clean-up. One needs to be announced.
Another issue that was brought up was that the applicant for re-zoning was technically incorrect. The application listed the Applicant as “CM Holding,” a corporation that doesn’t exist. The correct name should have been “CM Molding.”
If commissioners want a permanent error on their records, then it’d be okay to ignore this typo. However, I’d say an error like that, among other issues, calls for a reconsideration of the applicant’s re-zoning request. Or, maybe a simple public correction would suffice, you know, like, who really cares about typos?
And, last but quite definitely not least, is the issue of 42nd Street. After this story broke on August 9, I received a call from one of our esteemed commissioners who claimed to be “worried” about it.
Worried? About a street?
The claim was that 42nd Street was never paved in the first place so no one has to do any re-paving, but, if that section of road did need to be paved, it would cost “money” and J&N would have to pay for part of that amount. Considering that the city wants to spend $3-million dollars on a new community center, it doesn’t seem that money should be an issue for such a small project.
Nevertheless, three days after this conversation with the commissioner, I stopped by J&N again. Their section of 42nd Street was suddenly newly paved with sediment-like dirt, most potholes filled, and any evidence of previous pavement completely hidden. J&N also widened their section of road.
Which brings me back to that weird phone conversation with the commissioner, who made another equally strange comment that had been echoed at their last meeting: That the property to be-zoned “was not near Jamestown, but closer to Davenport Estates.”
The fact is that the property to be re-zoned, looking at it on a standard Internet map, is only two large blocks from Jamestown and about a quarter-mile from Davenport Estates (DE). So why the concern with this gated community? Could it be because this is where our most recently terminated city manager owns a two-story home there?
In light of the fact that commissioners were aware that this city manager had been working for years with the Kissimmee-based CM Arrington based, which is associated with J&N Stone, it behooved them to make this information public. They didn’t.
It raises questions. Too many questions for a problem that should only be complex for The Dumper. I’m sure we’ll find out the answers to these questions one day. However, today is not that day.
If you’d like to voice your concern, call the Polk Sheriff’s Office’s Environmental Unit at 863-534-7205. Fax: 863-534-7209. Or, call Carlton Turner #6291 direct on his cell at 863-701-5286. Email: JTurner@PolkSheriff.org.
The images below are of some of J&N Stone’s dumping and the appearance of 42nd Street. If you have more information about these issues, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Post updated 09/01/2017.