More questions are being asked about Lenny’s Lawn, the grassy site of the former Jacksonville Landing.
City Haul, which doesn’t like to be questioned, appears to be irritated. This is a reaction Eye on Jacksonville has experienced numerous times. Our own questioning led to a blackout on access to the administration.
People had wondered why the Landing was demolished in the first place.
Then, local citizens snickered when they saw the plan for revamping the site.
It included a large sculpture that became known as “Lerp,” because it was so stylized that the word “Jax” – what it is intended to say – was unclear.
Now more serious questions are being asked by Action News, and bureaucrats are rankled.
The $29 million redevelopment plan, called One Park Jax, may not conform to the new orthodoxy that calls for rising sea levels from climate change.
Anne Coglianese, the city’s brand new chief resiliency officer, is the person hired to lead efforts to protect property from the anticipated rising seas.
When asked if the project might flood, she told Action News the project design is not complete.
Designer Perkins & Will have planned “a living shoreline.” That means, apparently, one that looks like what nature would have provided if humans weren’t around. It would feature upland grasses and aquatic plants, stabilized underneath.
Coglianese called it a great idea. But reporter Ben Becker found another resiliency expert who questioned the plan. He said tide charts show water elevations during the hurricane season make living shorelines a bad option for that site.
In 2016, a hurricane damaged the old docks on the Northbank. The city paid $4 million to replace them.
Under the new plan, the new docks would be demolished.
Lori Boyer, head of the Downtown Investment Authority, brushed off Becker when he tried to question her, saying the design was not complete.
Perkins & Will say their computer-aided design takes into account weather events.
Oddly enough, the living shoreline plan that shuns docks and bulkheads has a Plan B, according to Action News. It would keep the docks and bulkhead.
The message, again, seems to be “shut up and trust us.”