News Pensacola Politics

Hayward Assembles Downtown Team

February 1, 2012

Pensacola’s mayor has assembled an Urban Redevelopment Advisory Committee in an effort to focus of the development of the city’s downtown.

Beginning this month, the committee will embark on a four-month endeavor to assist Mayor Ashton Hayward in implementing the redevelopment of Pensacola’s Community Redevelopment Agency—including downtown, the waterfront and surrounding neighborhoods. The group will be working towards incentivizing development and converting vacant and surplus public property to active uses.

“The City has planned and studied the redevelopment of our downtown and waterfront for long enough,” Hayward said in a statement. “There are several redevelopment plans just sitting on the shelf collecting dust.”

The Urban Redevelopment Advisory Committee will tasked with producing a report outlining specific recommendations. The mayor has outlined nine goals to guide the group’s work: build a community that is competitive in today’s economy; replenish the income of the CRA through new capital investment; make productive use of the large inventory of public land; create jobs and a sustainable future for this community; create a walkable community by increasing mixed-use density; insure that opportunities created and resources expended will benefit all; create a waterfront that is a thriving public space; create housing with a wide spectrum of affordability; restore the value of the authentic, historic character of downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods.

“As a downtown resident and business owner, I’m excited to see Mayor Hayward shift focus from the planning phase to taking action,” said Brian Spencer, Chair of the Community Redevelopment Agency, in a statement. “This is a great opportunity to focus on the execution of our redevelopment efforts.”
The seven members of the Mayor’s Urban Redevelopment Advisory Committee are Dr. Ken Ford, Teresa Dos Santos, Christian Wagley, John Myslak, Brian Hooper, Stephanie Powell, and Shana Neuhaus.

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  • Ames February 2, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Coming soon, continued gentrification in Pensacola!

  • Mary Mead February 2, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Courtney, unfortunately a private attorney cannot bring criminal charges, that job is assigned to the State Attorney, Mr. Eddins. I have written Mr. Eddins repeatedly and he refuses to address the apparent crimes being committed by City Officials. A private attorney can defend against criminal charges but cannot prosecute them.

    There is another old adage: right eventually wins out.

  • Courtney February 2, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Mary, I know this question has been asked before, but have you hired an attorney? I realize cost is often a barrier, but if you feel so certain that a crime has been committed against you it’s a moot issue. With the number of attorney’s in this town clamoring to represent someone whose case involves violation of federal law, what attorney wouldn’t take the case if they saw a legitimate claim? I only ask this question because your message here is becoming white noise. In other words, when we see your name, we know what the subject is without having to read your comment and I would suspect most regulars here just skip over it. That’s just my observation. Let us know when you have consulted with a couple of attorneys who practice this type of law and what their response is. Remember the old adage: Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results is insanity.

  • Mary Mead February 2, 2012 at 7:26 am

    As a property owner in the Pensacola Community Redevelopment Authority District, I would like to address the 7 members of the Urban Redevelopment Advisory Committee.

    My husband and I were vetted and authorized by Pensacola City Officials to open our small business in May 2000.

    This was reinforced in January, 2001, at the Pensacola City Council Meeting where we were authorized by officials of the City of Pensacola, Escambia County and the State of Florida to receive the Historic Preservation Tax Exemption as we had met and exceeded all of the requirements of Historical restoration and were in compliance with all Pensacola City Ordinances to include zoning, parking, etc. and in compliance with all state statutes. We won the award for best restored historic property for the year 2000.

    A Pensacola City Council Memorandum dated January 8, 2001, page 2, paragraph 3 states, “The Meads propose to use the structure for an art gallery, antiques, crafts and functions.” (This memo is located at – council file dated 1/11/2001, in the Pensacola City records section on line). A Pensacola City Ordinance was issued to memorialize this.

    The Pensacola Police Department illegally closed down our properly authorized business, without due process, at 7:00 PM, on a Saturday evening, during a wedding, for holding functions, backed up within 48 hours by the Director of the Pensacola Neighborhood Development Department and the City Manager in violation of City Ordinances. This was done the day before City Officials announced they were building the Maritime Park at the end of our street. It appears they committed and continue to commit extortion, conspiracy, and grand theft of persons 65 years of age or older (all felonies) against us.

    During the 25 years of operation of the business (including the former owner), from 1980 until 2005, in the same location, there were no complaints before our illegal closing on March 19, 2005. Next month will mark 7 years that we have been illegally closed by City Officials in violation of local, state and federal laws, especially the United States Constitution.

    Mayor Ashton Hayward, and my district representative, Mr. Brian Spencer, refuse to stop the apparent felonies committed against us daily and refuse to answer my correspondence and appear to be waiting for me to die as I am an elderly widowed grandmother, who is a veteran.

    If the members of the Urban Redevelopment Advisory Committee are serious about achieving the nine stated goals, and serious about making downtown a safe place to live and work, please lift the illegal prohibition of us operating our business as we were officially and legally authorized to do.