Sand for Vilano? 150 easements down, 4 to go, 1 ‘strong hold out’

With just a week to get 154 easements to bring an emergency sand replacement effort to fruition for a couple dozen homeowners in Vilano Beach, St. Johns County needs only four more people to sign off by 5 p.m. Monday. But one property owner is “flat out refusing.”

County spokesman Michael Ryan told The Record on Saturday there’s just one “strong holdout” who is “potentially jeopardizing the entire initiative.”

Getting sand behind a stretch of homes between just north of Third Street and San Pelayo Court has been no small task. Put into motion shortly after Hurricane Matthew, the proposed plan has already cleared an improbable amount of red tape.

Prior to the storm, the Florida Inland Navigation District and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had an existing maintenance project scheduled to dredge a portion of the Intracoastal Waterway and pipe the dredged sand to Anastasia State Park. More recently, the Corps received additional federal funds to dredge the St. Augustine Inlet and do the same.

Shortly after the storm, however, the two agencies and St. Johns County have worked with the St. Augustine Port, Waterway and Beach District to modify the dredge contract and place all dredged sands behind homes to the north. The Corps and FIND covered the additional costs to provide the nearly 250,000 cubic yards of beach-quality sand at no expense to the county. (For a rundown of the project, see the March 6 edition of The Record or go to http://bit.ly/2nb08Rf.)

The bottom line is this change can only be accomplished if 100 percent of the oceanfront properties from Porpoise Point all the way up to the northern edge of the project provide the county with a temporary construction easement before the end of Monday.

Ryan said the county is looking for wiggle room on the deadline but also said it was unlikely that would buy any more than a day or two. He also said the County Commission could meet next week to consider “alternative solutions” in the event there’s only one or two holdouts, elaborating only that the board could consult the county attorney to review any legal recourse there might be.

County employees were out in the field Saturday trying to secure the final easements. As of about 3 p.m. Saturday, there were four remaining (down from six on Friday night). All property owners on the county’s list have been contacted.

Jack (sponger) Harvell 17 days ago
Here's a story for you: The holdouts will not be tolerated, the sand will flow, money and peace will be restored to the wealthy who in their arrogance built a house on the beach. The End.
Brian Roach 16 days ago
How refreshing to find someone with a clear vision of "how the game is played." 
micki broadus 16 days ago
As a response to the previous comment-Everyone that has an oceanfront house is not wealthy and certainly not arrogant. Maybe they & their families have lived here generations long before many people wanted to live this far from Jacksonville. Or maybe, they worked their butt off, saved their money and always wanted to live oceanfront. I don't live oceanfront. But I certainly don't have a grudge against someone who does. I recommend getting rid of the envy. It isn't healthy. Just be thankful for what you do have.
wally Lawver 16 days ago
or maybe they are wealthy and through the use of artificial means (dredging,adding sand etc) these homes are still where mother nature keeps trying to return.............................
Sherri Jones Waller 9 days ago
Nicely said micki. 
Brian Roach 15 days ago
No grudge, Mikki. Just don't expect the neighbors and taxpayers to underwrite the expense for the "innocent and entirely blameless wealthy or otherwise" who by poor judgement or pure naked greed decided to site their homes in the danger zone. I would be the first to stand on the beach and applaud their funding of the replenishment from their own pockets knowing that money granted by the state might then  go to fixing the roads, bridges and infrastructure that benefit the general population.
Jack (sponger) Harvell 15 days ago
Amen to that Brian. One doesn't need a complex understanding of hydrodynamics or Oceanography to ascertain that the sand keeps being removed from this location and the taxpayers are paying for it's replenishment.
Wayne (mach) Hoyle 15 days ago
I'm with the majority here, After one or two washouts, the land should go back to the state who is us, the people paying for their lifestyle if they don't want to fund it themselves. It's practically a private beach anyway, as there is little to no public access. They saw to that along A1A.
Sherri Jones Waller 9 days ago
Sorry you are not the majority, the majority is mostly silent, they read the words ....but they keep their opinions to themselves to keep the peace.
Robert McDaniel 15 days ago
Not for or against the property owners, but when those houses fall in, A1A is next.  Wanna be like Flagler Beach?
Robert McDaniel 15 days ago
Ocean front homes are a buffer for the roadway.

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