Protect Fish Island, Oppose Gate Car Wash
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Friends of Fish Island oppose the plans to build an automated Gate Petroleum Express Carwash next to the entrance of our beloved Fish Island. Our community has worked too hard to conserve this invaluable piece of historical land on the banks of the Matanzas River. Pictured above is an example of a Gate Express Carwash (source: Google Search & Scherer Construction website).
Constructing an automated car wash at the base of the busy 312 bridge and directly beside the entrance to the city's newest park and crown jewel, Fish Island, could destroy its quiet solitude, drive away it’s wildlife, and create added traffic congestion at a major evacuation route. We are especially concerned that the park’s visitors, birds, and wildlife will be disrupted by high decibel noise from the planned 24 outdoor vacuum bays and car wash machinery, increased traffic, and stormwater runoff.
Thanks to an incredible grass-roots community effort, involving thousands of residents, the State of Florida agreed to use Florida Forever conservation funds to purchase Fish Island in 2019 with an agreement that the City of St. Augustine manage the property. Jesse Fish started the nation's first commercial orange plantation on this very land. Fish Island has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1972, and was named to the 2019 “11 to Save” list by the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, as one of the most threatened historic properties in the State.
We ask Gate Petroleum to withdraw your plans to build this car wash and instead sell the property to the Florida Forever Program. In doing so, Gate would become a contributing corporate citizen to St. Augustine and St. Johns County, in return for the loyalty the residents of this community have given to Gate’s businesses over many years.
The Friends of Fish Island urge our fellow citizens, especially those who believe in protecting our precious wildlife and natural resources, to sign this petition opposing the planned construction of the Gate Express Carwash next to Fish Island (corner of SR 312 & Plantation Island Drive South).
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