Jacksonville Landing, City working to resolve permit issue for Georgia/Florida festivities

Jacksonville, FL — Both sides are hopeful, but there’s still no deal reached on permitting for weekend celebrations at the Jacksonville Landing, around the Georgia/Florida game.

The City of Jacksonville sent Jacksonville Landing Investments, LLC a letter October 19th outlining “health and safety concerns” that needed to be addressed, before the City would move forward with a waiver for late permit filing, and the permit process itself. The requirements include that the Landing pay for additional JFRD personnel at each entry and exit point, to verify the attendee count, that the event attendance doesn’t exceed 7,500 people at any given time, and that there be no more than five 10’ x 10’ bars serving alcohol on the exterior commons.

“Those conditions are based on the best advice the Administration gets from public safety professionals,” says Mayor Lenny Curry’s Chief of Staff Brian Hughes.

Our partner Action News Jax has reported that, in prior years, the Landing didn't need any special permit for this weekend's events.

“In light of the incident that happened at Chicago Pizza, the Mayor and the Administration felt it was appropriate to engage the permit process- which has been in place for years- engage it this year to ensure that we have a clear understanding of what capacity is and what the alcohol sales volume is,” Hughes says.

The incident Hughes is referring to is a mass shooting at the game bar inside of Chicago Pizza, during a Madden video game tournament. Two people were killed and ten others hurt by the gunman, who then took his own life.

WOKV asked a Landing spokesperson whether they intend to comply with what the City has outlined. They did not directly respond to that question, but said they continue working on the matter.

“We fully expect to resolve the issue of the permit to maintain the tradition and look forward to continuing to work with the city in welcoming those returning to Jacksonville and those arriving for the first time, not just for the upcoming Florida Georgia festivities, but for many years to come,” says a statement from the Landing.

The Landing is currently advertising for a full day of events both Friday and Saturday. Hughes declined to say whether the City would shut down the events, if the permit situation is not resolved, calling the question hypothetical.

“Both parties are having good faith conversations. We’re hopeful we’ll get there,” he says.

The City and the Landing are currently in litigation over other matters relating to the Landing. The City owns the land, but is in a long-term lease with JLI, through Sleiman Enterprises. The City previously notified the Landing that they were terminating the lease over the Landing's failure to operate as a "first class retail facility", although the Landing says the City is not living up to its commitments on parking and security. That litigation is still ongoing.

The City has previously made clear that it wants the land to be converted in to a park.

Hughes says, regardless of the deal that’s reached, there will be a large public safety presence of first responders and emergency personnel along Bay Street between the Landing and TIAA Bank Field.

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