Jacksonville City Council Approves EverBank Improvements, Backyard Chickens

Nov 13, 2013

The Jacksonville City Council has approved $63 million in improvements at EverBank Field.

The legislation easily was approved to add large scoreboards, a water feature and other improvements.

The improvements approved for Jacksonville's EverBank Field include endzone scoreboards that will be among the largest of their type in the world.
Credit AndrewAvitus / WikiMedia Commons

Construction will begin after the Jaguars season ends and should be completed in time for the 2014 season.

The Jaguars will pay $20 million of the costs with the city borrowing the rest and paying the debt using the proceeds from the hotel bed tax paid by visitors.

City Council President Bill Gulliford said there has been a lot of misinformation about what pays for stadium upgrades and that no funds from Duval County residents will be used, unless they are staying at a local hotel.

The council also narrowly approved a pilot program that would allow 300 families to raise backyard hens in residential neighborhoods.

Jacksonville resident and co-founder of Hens in Jax Laureen Trad has been pushing for the three years to get such legislation passed. She said she was delighted that 300 families will now be able to legally raise hens.

Up to five hens will be allowed per household after paying a $25 permitting fee. The pilot will sunset after two years. Code enforcement will review the pilot after a year and a half.     

You can follow Kevin Meerschaert on Twitter @KMeerschaertJax.