Jacksonville Beach, District 2
Community Newsletter
January 2020
Please share this newsletter with your friends and neighbors!
Wishing you and yours a
Healthy and Happy New Year!

What's your Vision for Jacksonville Beach?
Do you want to be part of shaping the future of Jacksonville Beach?
The City is asking residents who want to be part of the community vision process to sign up for one meeting since space will be limited (we don't want the groups to get too large), and we are looking for diverse participation.
You can contact Chris Wright at 904.247.6268 to sign up for a meeting.
Thank you for your willingness to participate!

Visioning Meetings
  • January 23 (Thursday) 6 - 7:30pm City Hall, City Council Chambers
  • January 25 (Saturday) 10:30am - noon City Hall, City Council Chambers
  • January 30 (Thursday) 6 - 7:30pm Carver Center
  • February 8 (Saturday) 10:30 - noon  Community Center, Sunshine Park
  • February 13 (Thursday) 6 - 7:30pm  City Hall, City Council Chambers
  • February 22 (Saturday) 6 - 7:30pm. Community Center, Sunshine Park
2019 Year in Review
Jax Beach
We got a lot done in 2019, so here is a list of our accomplishments. This is followed by our plans for 2020.
  • Mike Staffopoulos started his position as our new City Manager in January
  • Cmdr Gene Paul Smith was promoted to be our new Police Chief
  • Chris Ambrosio was hired to be our new City Attorney
  • Fire services were contracted out to the County (JFRD)
  • City Council decided on priorities to focus on over the next couple years
  • Sea oats were planted on the re-nourished dunes
  • We passed a Short Term Rental ordinance
  • Updated the City's alcohol ordinance
  • Were able to maintain the same millage rate as last year
  • We had another successful 4th of July fireworks show
  • We hosted the Sea and Sky Spectacular event
  • Started a new automated paid parking system, and residents still park for free
  • Empowered the Community Redevelopment Agency to be more proactive regarding downtown and the south end development districts
  • Approved the hiring of a 'point-person', who will be charged with ensuring services in the downtown and south beach districts are met
  • Four new hotels are being constructed downtown
  • Negotiated a 3-year contract with the City's general employees union
  • Updated the wording and references in all 3 union contracts
  • Approved infrastructure improvements for Beaches Energy Services, invested in solar energy, and reduced rates for customers
  • The rounds of play at the newly renovated golf course have greatly increased, and more technology is being used for scheduling tee times
  • Approved improvements to the softball fields at Wingate Park
  • Approved a mural for the dog park
  • Installed new windscreens for the tennis courts
  • Approved a Memorial Tree and Bench program
  • Started live broadcasting and recording all public meetings
  • Approved a new traffic policy
  • Worked for landscaping improvements on City right-of-ways and public land
  • A new Public Works Director will be starting in January
  • Repairs to the pier have finally begun
  • Worked on a new pier entry design for once the repairs are completed
  • Tested new lighting to protect sea turtles next season

While 2019 was busy, 2020 is starting out to be even more so! [See Moving Forward into 2020 article]

Please let me know if you have any questions, concerns, or comments.
January Events
1/8 7-8PM
Beaches Library
Topic: Fletcher Marine Coastal Club Updates

1/9 6:30-9:30pm
Police Department

1/14 5pm

1/16 6pm
Pete's Bar, Beaches Town Center

1/21 5pm
Seawalk Pavilion

1/25 2-5pm
Seawalk Pavillion

Click here for more information and events.

Jax Beach Citizens Police Academy

Do you want to learn more about what our local police officers actually do? Go to the firing range? Go on a ride-a-long? Well, here is your chance!
A new class for The Citizens Police Academy will be starting on Thursday 1/9/2020, and continue weekly until graduation on 4/2. The cost is $25 per person.

Fill out and submit an application , or contact Sgt. Smith at 904.247.6193
Moving Forward Into 2020
While much was accomplished in 2019, we are not slowing down in the new year. Some items on the agenda:
  • Start the Jax Beach Community Vision Process [see above for more info]
  • Engage in strategic planning to implement the vision [summer/fall]
  • Amend the Comprehensive Plan to align with vision [summer through next winter]
  • Amend the Land Development Code to align with vision [after comp plan complete]
  • Review and amend the City Charter [Fall]
  • Start a Citizen Academy for residents to learn more about the functions of Jax Beach government [Summer/Fall]
  • Review a Backyard Hens ordinance (January)
  • Complete a Council Code of Conduct policy
  • Merge the three CRA plans (the 1987 Community Redevelopment Plan, the 2007 Vision Plan, and the 2015 Downtown Action Plan) to have one, concise and agreed upon document from which to move forward
  • Clean up some loose ends in the current Land Development Code while working on the vision and strategic plan
  • Hire a communication specialist
  • Redesign the City's website to make it user-friendly

I hope that you are as excited as I am about the changes that are taking place in the City, and where it is heading! Please be engaged, be informed, and be part of the process.

Jax Beach has new leadership and it is heading in a new direction.
The future is bright.
Jax Beach Pier
Good news! Construction has started and is expected to be completed by November 2021.
  • The project will cost $9.88 million. The cost is broken down to 75% federal government; 25% split between Jacksonville and the State.
  • The reconstructed pier will be the same length as the original pier (1,300 feet), but will be 8 feet higher at the end.

Jacksonville will maintain ownership of the Pier, but Jacksonville Beach is looking at taking over its management.

More information can be found here.
Downtown Jax Beach
The following properties/projects are new large-scale developments in downtown Jacksonville Beach. The latest addition is 221 Surfside , a mixed use development to the property just north of the Seawalk Pavilion. Proposed uses include a restaurant, office space, a boutique hotel, and retail.

221 Surfside (formerly Sydney's and Buckets, just north of the Pavilion)
Rooms: 17
Height: 2 stories
~Construction has started~

 SpringHill Suites (Current location of the Pier Cantina restaurant)
Rooms: 136
Height: 56' (5 stories)

~Buildings over 35' (3 stories) were grandfathered in~
Element Hotel (southeast corner of Beach Blvd. and 3rd Street)
Rooms: 80
Height: 35' (3 stories)
~Construction has started~
Margaritaville Hotel (oceanfront lot north of Casa Marina)
Rooms: 202
Height: 89' (eight stories)
~Construction has started~
Dolphin Depot (across 1st St from Margaritaville)
Rooms: 57 hotel rooms, 54 apartments
Height: 68' (6 stories)
Together, we will make a difference.
Let's continue to work together to ensure that Jacksonville Beach remains one of the greatest places to call home! Reach out if you have any questions or concerns about what is happening in your neighborhood or City.
Cell phone: 904.486.6865