Community Briefs for Oct. 22, 2015


Commissioners approve rezoning, bonus for Roscoe Blvd. project
On Tuesday, the St. Johns County Board of Commissioners heard a request to rezone approximately five acres of land from Open Rural (OR) to Planned Unit Development (PUD) to allow an eight lot, single-family residential subdivision, located on the east side of North Roscoe Blvd., north of Canal Blvd. and south of Solana Rd., along with an affordable housing bonus petition to provide a minimum of four affordable housing dwelling units in the incorporated area of the City of St. Augustine at 79 Masters Drive.
Gary Phillips, president of the Palm Valley Community Association, voiced concerns during the period of public comment.
“It’s very difficult to be against affordable housing,” Phillips said. However, he continued that the intent of the incentive was to have affordable housing within the same property in question – not a different part of the county. “We think that this is a very slippery slope if we approve this type of thing.”
The Planning and Zoning Agency had recommended approval of the Workforce/Affordable Housing Density Bonus Petition and PUD 2015-05 with a vote of 6-0 at the September 3, 2015 hearing. At the meeting Tuesday, the board unanimously passed the bonus petition and the rezoning request.

PVCA seeks new members
The Palm Valley Community Association (PVCA) has begun an ambitious membership drive designed to engage and mobilize residents throughout the community around the goal of influencing public policy on quality of life issues.
According to PVCA President, Garry Phillips, “those who live in Palm Valley enjoy a small town lifestyle. Like a small town, residents are likely to run into friends and neighbors any time they visit the local grocery store, the post office or the many retail shops in the area. Palm Valley is also surrounded by exceptional natural beauty with the Atlantic Ocean to the East, the Intracoastal Waterway to the west and the unspoiled Guana-Tolomato Preserve to the south.”
St. Johns County is growing at an astonishing rate, Phillips said.
“According to the county’s own figures, population grew 54 percent between 2000 and 2010 and is projected to grow another 33 percent in the next ten years. And while it’s not widely known, since 2011, the regulatory environment in Florida has become decidedly pro-developer,” Phillips said. “As a result we expect most vacant land in Palm Valley to be completely built-out in just a few more years.”
Growth has begun to dramatically impact quality of life for residents of Palm Valley said Brian Hurdis, Chairman of the PVCA’s Growth & Roadway Management Committee added.
“Traffic congestion at key intersections has become an everyday occurrence,” Hurdis said.
“Traffic volume has picked up even on the side streets as motorists try to avoid the bottle-necks.”
According to an email from the PVCA, the association believes that the only effective way to influence government support for the necessary improvements will be through a unified effort. To this end, the PVCA is contacting all Homeowner’s Associations in the community to encourage their residents to work with the group on public policy issues.
Readers wanting more information or wishing to join the Palm Valley Community Association can do so by visiting the group’s website at The Palm Valley Community Association meets at 148 Canal Blvd. in Ponte Vedra Beach.

County hosts Skywarn Spotter training
St. Johns County Emergency Management is hosting Skywarn Spotter Training from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct. 27 at the St. Johns County Emergency Operations Center, 100 EOC Dr. The Skywarn Spotter Program is a nationwide network of volunteers trained by the National Weather Service (NWS) to report significant weather. County residents are invited to the free training course, which teaches the basics of being a spotter and safety considerations during significant weather events.
“Skywarn volunteers become the NWS’s eyes and ears, helping to provide better weather watch and warning services,” according to the NWS website.
The NWS’s mission is to protect lives and property. When weather conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms or tornadoes are expected to develop, a severe thunderstorm watch is issued. A severe thunderstorm or tornado warning is issued when severe weather has been reported by a Skywarn spotter or indicated by Doppler radar.
The free course will provide training for all spotters through multiple modules covering the procedures for spotting, including communication and spotter report criteria.
For more information or to register, email webemgmt@sjcfl or call (904) 824-5550.