St. Augustine residents divided over plans for amphitheater

More than 1,500 signed petition to stop project at Mission Nombre de Dios

By Allyson Henning - Reporter, Roxy Tyler - Web producer

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Some residents in St. Augustine are pushing back against a development planned on historic church grounds.

Leaders at the Mission Nombre de Dios Catholic church plan to build an amphitheater and eventually a parking garage on the property.

The site plans have already been presented to the city’s planning and zoning board, but people against the plan have started a petition against it.

More than 1,500 people have signed the online petition against planned changes to the Mission grounds. Residents are worried about traffic and congestion. Others are concerned about loud noise from large events, preserving history and losing green space. 

Alex Cramer was born and raised in St. Augustine and used the area Sunday with her family to enjoy Easter and picnic in the grass.

"I’m kind of split. You know, another venue to host some things would be nice, and there’s a pretty spot here to do it. But the parking garage is the part that kind of ruins it. Parking is hard enough and parking structures no matter how they try to make them look pretty, never do. So, it kind of ruins the appeal of this area," Cramer said.

According to documents submitted to the city, the amphitheater would be an earthen amphitheater with an altar at the center and no stage. It would hold up to 1,200 people.

As for the parking garage, it would take the place of an existing parking lot.

The plans are still in their early stages and zoning changes with the city would need to be made before the dioceses moves forward with the project. 

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