Arnold sworn in at last county commission meeting in 2021

Historic City News readers who attended last week’s St Johns County Commissioners Council meeting on December 21 welcomed Sarah Arnold to the council. Arnold took the oath of office in the presence of her husband and four children. Her stepfather, a retired judge, was sworn in. Arnold was appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis to fill the post left vacant by Jeb Smith’s resignation. His email address is [email protected]

In matters coming to council, as reported by the St Johns County Civic Roundtable, a proclamation was passed to recognize January as Human Traffic Awareness Month. Florida ranks third in the country for human trafficking. Bill of Rights Day was recognized to celebrate the 230th anniversary of the signing of the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution on December 15.


  • Fire Chief Prevatt said several members of the Emergency Deployment Team have been deployed to Kentucky to assist with tornado clean-up and debris removal as well as the long-term housing needs of 674 people. The team members will not return until December 28 and will miss Christmas with their families.
  • The sheriff’s office reports that it is having the busiest year on record with a 15% annual increase in 911 calls to 112,375 calls. There have been more than 500 accidents this year compared to 378 last year.
  • Court Clerk Brandon Patty thanked the county staff of 100 who largely work behind the scenes on various tasks for the county.
  • Modifications to the SilverLeaf DRI were debated, including an expansion to 2,394 acres with 3,000 new residential units and 250,000 square feet of commercial space. The property is generally located south of the planned First Coast Expressway and east of Trout Creek in the northwestern part of the county. At present, there are over 5,000 housing units undergoing overhaul or ditching.
    • In response to public comments, development on Parcel 40 will not be cleared until the First Coast Expressway is open to traffic, or January 1, 2030, whichever comes first. Lots along the SR 13 Scenic Drive will be larger and must have a 75 foot buffer zone. The developer is contributing more than $ 65 million for approximately 6.2 miles of new roads.
    • The main issue was traffic congestion and calls from area residents to take a break from the SilverLeaf review until the county had a more complete understanding of all the new ramifications of growth and traffic in the process. of an upcoming workshop.
    • Despite extensive public comment, the board of directors voted 4-1 (Waldron against) to approve the expansion of SilverLeaf DRI as well as two amendments from in-house legal advisers, if the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity rejects the dossier’s submission. adoption.
  • Bridle Ridge PUD revisions have been approved to add space to the U-Haul facility for boats and self-storage. A 66,000 square foot flexible space has also been approved at St. Johns Commerce East for retail, commerce, office, light industry, warehouse and distribution located off US-1. , south of Nease High School.
  • Hydro Aluminum will now be called simply Hydro, located on the east side of US 1 and Roehrs Road. Hydro received approval, 4-1 (Blocker vs.), to expand its on-site operations onto the existing 67.44 acres owned by the company. Hydro has been in business since 1979 and employs 367 people and produced 50 million pounds of aluminum extrusion sales in 2020.
  • The Greenbriar Downs PUD modification was passed to increase the height of a structure for the Church of the Eleven 22.
  • The Lightsey Road storage facility has received approval to expand its square footage from 65,500 to 75,282 square feet.
  • Two requests for transfer of road impact charge credits were postponed until Council holds a workshop on the global changes to impact charge credits during the growth management workshop on the 25th. January 2022, 9 a.m. to noon.
  • Residents of Summer Island and Barrataria Island provided an overview for informational purposes only of issues related to the recent Summer Haven berm rupture and the effects of the northern flow of the Summer Haven River in the area. Only a small section of the south berm was drilled during the November Nor’easter, the rest of the FEMA berm held. Residents suggested a town hall commission with the 275 owners to discuss issues and potential solutions.
  • There was the first reading of the amendments to the Waste Ordinance to ban the release of balloons and sky lanterns which received strong public support. The City of St. Augustine and the City of St. Augustine Beach have already enacted such bans.
  • The Affordable Housing Advisory Committee provided an excellent overview of its annual report and encouraged all interested parties to obtain a copy. In 2021, affordable housing becomes beyond the reach of many workers in the county and will negatively impact economic development unless drastic measures are taken by the county. There are 700 housing permits issued each month in the county and property values ​​are skyrocketing. The advisory committee made many key recommendations to the board, including:
    • 1- Impact / reduction of connection fees to public services for houses under $ 250,000
    • 2- Continue planning for housing near transport hubs
    • 3- Encourage flexible density strategies with developers
  • Commissioner Arnold was elected to the Value Adjustment Board and Paul Waldron was elected Chairman.
  • During the commissioner’s reports, Henry Dean advocated the need to hire an outside lawyer who specializes in district water management regulations and the county code to address the Marsh Landing flood problem. Currently, the legal department is understaffed and there is a new county attorney who has just been hired. Dean recommended hiring Wayne Flowers, who had been general counsel for the St. Johns River Water Management District. Dean has stated that Flowers has no conflict of interest and will work at government rate. County District Attorney David Migut will negotiate with Flowers a deal acceptable to the board.
  • Paul Waldron would like a status report on the Vilano Beach public floating dock and have asked staff to prepare rental fee recommendations for charities using county facilities.

Aurora J. William