Sand replacement projects to impact parking at Mickler’s Landing

County urges caution, explores improvements


In the wake of last year’s disastrous hurricane season, erosion has become a pressing concern for many Ponte Vedra Beach residents—particularly those living along the beachfront. To better protect their homes, some residents recently began private sand replacement projects along Mickler’s Beach, and the county is now urging visitors to take caution.

“Some residents had permits to do some sand placement, and to facilitate that request, we’re allowing the use of Mickler’s parking lot,” explained Billy Zeits, assistant director of the St. Johns County Parks and Recreation Department. “The contractor is managing his heavy equipment that’s going in and out of the parking lot and onto the beach, and we’re allowing public access during that time, because we know it’s important for people to go to the beach this time of year.”

As the only free public beach access in Ponte Vedra Beach proper, the parking situation at Mickler’s Landing Beachfront Park is already a source of frustration for many local beach-goers. The private projects, which officially began on Monday, April 30, are projected to be completed by May 15, but Zeits confirmed that visitors to the beach can expect the normal parking difficulties to be exacerbated for the projects’ duration.

“There’s definitely going to be portions of the parking lot that won’t be available for parking,” Zeits said. “There will be flag men there to help people know when the heavy equipment’s coming. Our intent is just to make sure that people are prepared for an unusual beach experience for the next two weeks.”

Zeits added that the county is aware of the community’s concerns regarding parking and accessibility at Mickler’s Landing and revealed that there are plans in the works to address them.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience and we are still working towards making some improvements at Mickler’s, once all of these construction projects are done, to improve the beach access at the site going forward,” Zeits said. “There is a plan to build another boardwalk, there’s a plan to redo the parking lot, there’s a plan to redo the emergency vehicle access and, right now, we’re working with contractors to get some accurate pricing.”