Ponte Vedra Corp proposes 3-year development delay for Outpost property

Vista Tranquilla (The Outpost) to be withdrawn from Board of County Commissioners Agenda

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--  UPDATE 5:40 p.m., Sept. 13, from St. Johns County Communications Director --

Vista Tranquilla (The Outpost) to be withdrawn from Board of County Commissioners Agenda

At the request of The Ponte Vedra Corporation, agenda item number eight related to Vista Tranquilla, commonly referred to as The Outpost, will be withdrawn from the September 17, 2019, St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners meeting agenda. 

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Ponte Vedra Corporation, a subsidiary of GATE Petroleum, recently announced it may allow for a three-year holding period for the development of Vista Tranquila, the 66-home community the company intends to build. The proposal could create the opportunity for nonprofit environmental organizations like the North Florida Land Trust to acquire the property for preservation purposes.

“We know that there is a desire by some to keep our property in its current state,” said president of GATE Lands, Drew Frick. “Our proposal to delay any development on the property for three years allows those parties time to secure funding and purchase the land. If the funds can be raised to purchase the Outpost property, both those wanting to keep the property as is and PVC would achieve positive results from this process.”

The corporation doesn’t plan to withdraw the application for a land use change, however. The proposal would only allow for potential purchase of the 100 acres by a private preservation group or public entity, giving them time to secure funding for purchase prior to development. As it stands, the stay would commence following the approval of the Commission’s vote to adopt the pending Comprehensive Plan Amendment application and Planned Unit Development rezoning application for the property. In addition, the PVC has not yet released what “a reasonable value” for the property would be, although an appraisal would be valued higher for residential rather than conservation land.

The proposal for a three-year stay occurred after the Planning and Zoning hearing in August that recommended the board to approve the change to the Comprehensive Plan Amendment from conservation to Residential A for the Outpost. The agency voted 3-2 in favor, with PZA members Bill McCormick and Jeffrey Martin dissenting.

About 400 residents in opposition to the development attended the hearing, exceeding the maximum occupancy of the St. Johns County Auditorium, where the PZA meeting took place.

Nicole Crosby, cofounder of Save Guana Now, said the organization is still pushing for residents to email representatives and attend at the commission meeting on Sept. 17.

“We do support acquisition of the Outpost property to preserve its environmental features and to protect the GTM,” Crosby said. “However, we continue to oppose the change of designation of land use to residential. We would love to see the property acquired but we can't count on that happening.”

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--  UPDATE 5:40 p.m., Sept. 13, from St. Johns County Communications Director --

Vista Tranquilla (The Outpost) to be Withdrawn from Board of County Commissioners Agenda

At the request of The Ponte Vedra Corporation, agenda item number eight related to Vista Tranquilla, commonly referred to as The Outpost, will be withdrawn from the September 17, 2019, St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners meeting agenda. 

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The following information was posted before the Sept. 13 update and is no longer valid:

The transmittal hearing for the Outpost property will be held on Sept. 17 at the St. Johns County Auditorium. The county has yet to release an exact time but will update the agenda on its website. Visit sjcfl.us/county/AgendasMinutes.aspx for more information. Additionally, saveguananow.org will post the meeting time when announced, along with directions to the event and commissioners’ email addresses for those interested in voicing opinions.

-- From the Sept. 17 Agenda --

***The Following Item Will Not Be Heard Before 1:30pm*** 

Presenter - Teresa Bishop, Planning Division Manager District 4

8. Public Hearing * COMPAMD 2019-03 Vista Tranquila - Transmittal. This the Transmittal Hearing for COMPAMD 2019-03 Vista Tranquila. A request to amend the Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Map from Conservation (CV) to Residential-A Coastal and CV, with a text amendment limiting the development to a maximum of 66 single family residential dwelling units within approximately 74 contiguous acres; limiting the number of residential docks to a maximum of 13; and prohibiting nonresidential development except that the current Outpost commercial activities may continue until the residential development commences. The Planning and Zoning recommended approval of the transmittal with a 3-2 vote at its August 15, 2019 meeting. Please see Growth Management Staff Report for project details.

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