Folio Weekly has posted their editorial on JaxPort’s proposal to move the cruise terminal to Mayport. (For what it’s worth, we wish Folio would post more of their material online—it’s much easier than trying to re-type it and properly credit it on our own.)
We don’t often look to public relations flacks for straight answers. But occasionally, despite their training and obligations, they let fly with a nugget of truth.
Such is the case with a December 2004 statement by then-JaxPort Authority spokesperson Robert Peek. When asked by The Florida Times-Union about the viability of a cruise ship terminal at Mayport, he responded, “Our analysis shows there is no room at Mayport.” Peek added, “We would need 40 acres of property along the river. There is not 40 acres of undeveloped land at Mayport. We would have to buy homes and businesses.”
The statement succinctly explains the central flaw in the port’s plan to build a cruise ship terminal at Mayport — a plan dissected (and decimated) by local property rights lawyer Andrew Brigham. In a Dec. 8 letter to Jacksonville City Councilmembers (available at flogfolioweekly.com), Brigham makes clear that the port’s claim that it needs just 10 acres of Mayport for a new terminal is a blatant untruth. The state’s other cruise terminals are larger by an order of magnitude (Miami’s footprint is 80 acres, Port Everglades is 50 acres, and both Port Canaveral and Tampa’s port are 70 acres each) and the port has done nothing, other than propose stacking cars in a five-story parking garage, to rein in land needs. Besides, the port’s own spokesperson acknowledged just four years ago that they’d need 40 acres to make the terminal work.
If we accept the port’s 10-acre estimate for what it is — a fiction — then the question becomes: How do they expect to make the terminal work? The answer can only be described as a kind of death-bed larceny, a process that allows the port to acquire land as Mayport declines. Brigham calls this “taking by attrition.”
The article is well worth reading in its entirety. It can be found here.