Thursday, June 16, 2016

Schrey on 417 Government: Rebuild Required!

Yesterday, former City planner and current congressional candidate Elizabeth Schrey posted the following to my blog concerning the property at 417 E. Government."

"Any new owner is bound by the last plans approved by the ARB.

I don't honestly recall the facts regarding ownership at the time this was heard. Often potential buyers will pursue ARB approvals prior to closing deals. 

Inspections is ultimately responsible for ensuring the ARB approved plans are followed. A new owner would have to complete the approved plans. (I would note that at any time one can ask for a new plan to be approved by the ARB. What to watch now is if Code Enforcement acts and if a new plan is now approved or if the rebuild requirement is upheld.)."

I'm confused!  The project was sold to the current owners on December 31, 2014 the property does not appear to be getting ready for construction.

  • Who applied for the demolition permit and when?
  • Who was the property owner of record when the demolition permit was issued?
  • Why has City Code Enforcement not required a rebuild?
  • Have plans been submitted for  new construction?
  • Is the City assessing code violation penalties on the property owners?
  • Does Quina have all the salvaged materials in some storage shed?
City Permitting has some 'splainin to do.

Sounds a lot like the Longhollow tower.  Where are we with that debacle?


Anonymous said...

SSSSSHHHHH.....Keep quit Maren or else Eric Olsen will call your boss and try to get you fired!!

Anonymous said...

Another example proving City of Pensacola can't effectively run the City.
I can't even name one department that is being run properly.

Why do we continue to waste money and not let Escambia County take over?

NotaGOB said...

I'm in agreement with Elizabeth about Inspections have to make sure the plans are followed. ARB does not do any inspection work and are only a source of determining that designs submitted to City Inspections first meet the criteria established for types of structures to be built downtown. Once the ARB approves a design concept they have no other responsibility. The responsibility shifts to the City Inspections Department.

You have to submit any and all drawings to City Inspections for code review and approval before you can shovel a single clump of dirt. Then after you receive your notice to proceed there are specific points in the project where you have to call and ask for inspections to come out and clear you to move on to the next stage. When I built my home in East Hill in 1994 I had to have an Inspector show up after Demo and clearing of my lot and prior to pouring the concrete so he could determine that footers and rebar met the permitted design. After the structure was framed and before my sheathing (plywood) was put on building I had to get another inspection to determine all my hurricane strapping also met the permitted drawings. I then had a third inspection at 95 % completion and a final Inspection upon completion in order to get my CO (Certificate of Occupancy).

I'm going to go out on a limb and say you really need to be poking around the City Inspections Department to determine how this project swayed so much from the original design submitted to the ARB. They are the first and final point of contact and they keep a copy of all plans and specifications submitted to their office. Any deviations to the submitted plans have to be resubmitted for re-approval.

Anonymous said...

This explanation is total nonsense! “Inspections” is not responsible for anything except approving new construction. If no one applies for a building permit the Building Department will never be involved. If the intention of new owners was to leave the property as a vacant lot there is no further oversight by the city. There should be, but there isn’t. In a few years, and with the rapid turnover of personnel at the city, everyone will have forgotten about the promises made at that ARB meeting but never committed to writing. We will drive by that address one day and see a spanking new mini-mansion designed by Carter Quina.

The bottom line is that someone can make outlandish promises at an ARB meeting and never have to account for those statements. Carter Quina knows how to play the system and that is just what he did. There were probably a few winks and nods among the other members of the ARB. These guys aren’t sophisticated enough to demand collard green pots full of cash. They can probably be bought off with two free tickets to a Blue Wahoos game, an eight-dollar value.

You can check Quina’s back yard but I don’t think you will find the building materials from that old house stored there. I can promise you that the wood from that 100-year old house disintegrated as soon as it was pulled off the house. I doubt that anyone on the ARB really believed this ridiculous story.

The average citizen of Pensacola will never enjoy such miraculous avoidance of ARB regulations. You only get these privileges if you have a current Special Snowflake card. I will bet you dollars to doughnuts that the people who bought the house at 417 Government have such a card.

NotaGOB said...

@Anonymous 12:51......
I'm going to have to disagree....The ARB does not issue Construction Permits. After they give approval the process goes to City Inspections for Permitting. The Contractor or Owner cannot remove the first piece of wood without a permit issued by the City. The ARB can wink and nudge nudge all it wants but until the City gives it's blessing not a damn thing can happen ......legally. Perhaps special snowflake Carter got a few wink winks from City Inspectors.

Anonymous said...

To NotaGOB -

You are missing the point. Nothing goes to the Building Department unless someone applies for a building permit. You don't need a building permit for a vacant lot. No one applied for a building permit, perhaps because no one ever wanted to build a new house on the property. Or, they may want to wait a few years until everyone forgets about what was said at that ARB meeting. The point is that no one is forcing the property owners to reconstruct the quaint cottage. As Maren pointed out, "A" (the demolition permit) should have been dependent on "B" (a permit to reconstruct the cottage). The two permits should have been issued concurrent, and assurances should have been made that the cottage was actually going to be reconstructed. It is way too late to put that jeannie back into the jar.

Anonymous said...

PART 1 -

Maren –

Thanks for “Digging a little deeper into….417 Government Street.” However, you have not yet dug deep enough. The history of this scooby-doing goes well beyond the records you have found and all the way back to at least 2011. The following are the minutes from the Jan. 19, 2012 ARB meeting.


Edward and Judith Galbavy had requested approval of the demolition of a contributing structure and an accessory structure. On December 15, 2011, the Board tabled the request for thirty (30) days.

On January 5, 2012, Ms. Galbavy contacted staff to inform the Board that she and her husband have withdrawn their offer to purchase the property and were withdrawing their request for demolition.

The current property owner, Angie Denmon, and her attorney, Lisa Minshew, were present at the meeting to request the Board make a decision on the requested demolition despite the Applicants withdrawing their request. Ms. Minshew described the recent actions by City Council pertaining to the Code Enforcement lien and fines on the property and the need to take action by June 1st.

Because the request for demolition had been withdrawn, one of the Board’s architects had not inspected the structure prior to the meeting. The Board discussed the need for an appropriate replacement structure if demolition is approved. Mr. Kelly advised the Board that the Pensacola Historic District has specific design standards identified in the Land Development Code.

MR. QUINA VOLUNTEERED TO INSPECT THE STRUCTURE FOLLOWING THE MEETING and to provide his opinion to Mr. Kelly. Mr. Lindemann made the motion to approve the demolition, IF SO RECOMMENDED BY MR. QUINA following his inspection of the structure. The motion was seconded by Ms. Campbell and passed 5 — 2, with Mr. Jones and Mr. Townes dissenting.


Take a look at the players. Angie Denmon is listed on her Linkedin page as an Executive Assistant with a real estate company. Was this a property flip all along? Angie Denmon “owned” the house but never lived in it. The house on Government Street had apparently been condemned by the city. Who would anyone bring (and pay) an attorney to an ARB meeting unless something of value was at stake?

And wasn’t that nice of Carter Quina to VOLUNTEER to inspect the house way back in 2011? Johnny-on-the-spot, right? Was this just opportunity knocking for Quina, or was it a setup all along?

Stay tuned for Part 2………………

Anonymous said...

PART 2 –

I previously bet “dollars to doughnuts” that the new owners of 417 Government Street (currently a vacant lot) are card-carrying members of the Special Snowflake Society. I sincerely regret that none of you took me up on that bet because I could use some Krispy Kreme doughnuts right about now. The new owners ARE Special Snowflakes.

Edward Galbavy is actually Dr. Edward Galbavy. The Galbavy’s previously had a home on Pensacola Beach, but are now slumming it in the historic district. There is little doubt that they would never live in that quaint little cottage on Government Street. Something much more splendiferous is what they had in mind all along. And Carter Quina was there to give it to them, with a little help from his friends at the ARB.

Judith Galbavy does what all doctor’s wives do – she attends luncheons. She was recently seen at the Bag it and Bling Luncheon where she rubbed shoulders with other Special Snowflakes as listed below. Does anyone recognize these names?

Jerre Peacock
Valarie Russenberger
Belle Bear
Jean Bear
Amy Falzone
Marianne McMahon
Brenda Vigodsky

Check it out here.

Anonymous said...

What I never fully realized until attempting to get the city to uphold it's land use ordinances was that the Planning Staff and various related boards are not in the business of making sure its ordinances are applied evenly and consistently. They are, instead, in the business of helping those who have cultivated the right connections get AROUND the ordinances. Note, this is a fine line. It is all well and fine to help a citizen understand which paperwork is required and what the process is, and another thing to advise them on how to fill out the paperwork to avoid the restrictions which our city codes require or to skirt around the ordinance-borne challenges that come with such efforts. This difference is driven by the "management" and is clear. "Push it through!" If you need to bend the rules, obfuscate, file vaguely fraudulent paperwork, tell inspections to look the other way, convince a board member to violate ethics laws, whatever - just push it through! It's a shame city leaders wasted so much time creating all these codes and ordinances to have them ignored.

Anonymous said...

Investigate Bill Weeks too, total sleaze and crooked.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't resolve this situation, but it seems to me there should be some amendment to the ordinance to require a refundable fee be kept in escrow when approving promised rebuilds. If not rebuilt in x years, fee is forfeit. big enough $ to sting (and make them think twice), but not so large it puts hardship on 'regular' folk trying to rebuild....