Jacksonville Beach, District 2
Community Newsletter
July 2021
A vibrant coastal community that embraces
'the beach life'
Please share this newsletter with your friends and neighbors!
Happy Independence Day!

A quick note...
Oh boy. A lot is happening in Jax Beach right now. This newsletter is a bit long, but please make it to the end. It contains information about new developments, potential new developments, new businesses, and structural changes to our government that can potentially impact our everyday lives.

Council has been meeting regularly to work on the City's strategic plan. It will provide direction to all City departments as well as elected officials, to help ensure that the actions of the City are aligned with our values, vision, and mission. Any feedback you can provide prior to the final adoption will be welcomed.

A vibrant coastal community that embraces 'the beach life'

Responsive government focused on safety, service, and sustainability

The Council, with the help of staff, identified four priorities:

Quality of Life
Public Safety
Local Economic Development

The latest draft is below, and some tweaking may still be involved prior to it being voted on by Council.

I am looking forward to following this plan when making decisions for the City. It is a very exciting time to live, work, and play in Jax Beach! #TheBeachLife

- Georgette

If you are fortunate enough, like I am, please consider contributing to BEAM. While I have not been financially impacted by the pandemic like others, I understand that many of our neighbors have been. BEAM is a community-based organization serving low-income residents in Jacksonville’s beach communities, and relies heavily on community support to assist our neighbors in time of need.

Remember to appreciate all the individuals who have had the opportunity to impact your life. Time is something we all take for granted too often.
Please let me know if you have any questions, concerns, or comments.
4th of July

Fireworks will be launching from the pier on Sunday, July 4 at 9 pm. Please expect large crowds and heavy traffic, especially after the fireworks.
Note that sanitation services on July 5th will not be impacted.
Government Updates
City Attorney

Council has completed the screening interviews for all the qualified candidates and selected three for in-person interviews, which will occur on July 14, from 8:30 - 4:30. At 4:30, the Council with hold a meeting to discuss our impressions of the candidates and the next steps.

During the hiring process, the city will continue to utilize outside counsel to ensure continuity of legal services.
June's Decisions

At the June 28th briefing, Council agreed to move forward to finalize the priorities, goals, and objectives that were laid out during the Strategic Planning Retreat held on May 14 at the City's Recreation Center at South Beach Park. This is the current draft of the strategic plan:

  • Priority 1: Quality of Life
  • Goal 1. Meet the community’s expectation of high-quality public services.
  • Objective 1 - Provide infrastructure that meets high standards of service for health, connectivity, and a clean environment.
  • Objective 2 – Consistently measure community satisfaction to maintain high standards of employee customer service and delivery of public services.
  • Goal 2. Sustain and improve community character and a diversity of neighborhoods.
  • Objective 1 - Update land development regulations to support the community’s desired character, intensity, and mix of uses.
  • Objective 2 - Support and incentivize redevelopment and a diversity of housing options.

  • Priority 2: Public Safety
  • Goal 1. Ensure the community is safe and feels secure.
  • Objective 1 – Utilize public safety resources in the most efficient and effective manner.
  • Objective 2 – Mitigate safety perception issues.
  • Goal 2. Create a safe and well-maintained multi-modal transportation network.
  • Objective 1 - Implement and promote Complete Streets and other innovative concepts where feasible.
  • Objective 2 - Design, develop and encourage the use of an urban trail system that connects residents to parks, schools, commercial districts, and the beach.

  • Priority 3: Local Economic Development
  • Goal 1. Develop a downtown that attracts residents, visitors, and commerce.
  • Objective 1 – Develop strategies to stimulate the downtown business district to include mixed-use, commercial, retail, and living spaces.
  • Objective 2 – Implement the Downtown Vision Plan
  • Goal 2. Attract, cultivate and retain desired businesses.
  • Objective 1 - Establish a streamlined business-friendly process to assist with navigation of city requirements.
  • Objective 2 - Reform regulations and government policies to attract locally owned businesses.

  • Priority 4: Sustainability
  • Goal 1 – Promote financial sustainability and stability.
  • Objective 1 – Employ fiscal best practices and maintain adequate reserves across all funds.
  • Objective 2 – Promote asset management and preventive maintenance principles for major City infrastructure.
  • Goal 2 – Support environmental sustainability.
  • Objective 1 – Prepare the community for environmental impacts and risks.
  • Objective 2 – Maintain and improve existing natural assets.
  • Goal 3 – Provide organizational sustainability and relevance.
  • Objective 1 – Connect with our citizens and customers.
  • Objective 2 – Attract and retain a qualified and highly motivated workforce.
Council is working with the Cliff Sheppard Group on phase two of the Charter Review. The Charter dictates many things we take for granted. Some of the big topics to be discussed will be:

  • The structure of the City Council
  • Definition of an emergency (Executive control of government)
  • Increasing the number of liquor licenses available in the City (bars, not restaurants)
  • The current city-wide 35' height limit

July Meetings

The Council only holds one meeting in July, which will be on the 19th at 6 pm. The agenda can be found here.

There will also be a Council Briefing on April 12th and a Charter Review meeting on the 26th, both starting at 5:30. These meetings are taking place on Zoom and can be watched live on the City's YouTube Channel. The purpose of the briefings is to allow Council members to discuss issues coming before them on future meeting agendas.

Finally, Council will be reviewing the upcoming 2021-2022 City Budget. The review starts with a Budget Showcase and Financial Condition Report, which will take place virtually on July 30 at 2pm. You can watch it online.

Be Heard

There have been many changes in the operation and leadership of the City over the last two years. If you have an issue you think Council should discuss, please contact us, and not just your District Councilperson. The Mayor and the At-Large Council members were voted into office to represent you, too!

After you make contact with your Council members, each one will decide if they want to discuss it with 1) the City Manager (many issues are handled this way. For example, a missed trash pick up); or 2) have it placed on the agenda for a Council Briefing to get feedback from other Council members.

After a topic is discussed at the Council Briefing, Council provides direction to City staff on how to proceed. If most Council Members do not agree that the topic should move forward, it does not move forward.

Due to Florida's strict Sunshine Laws, Council members cannot discuss any items that may come before us to vote on or that are currently in front of us for a vote among each other outside a publicly posted meeting, and this includes any item that you want Council to address that requires a vote. We cannot meet individually, email, make phone calls, or even text each other on topics that are or may come before us to vote on. This is why you need to contact more than just your District Representative.

Below is our contact information:
Mayor, Chris Hoffman: choffman@jaxbchfl.net; 904-877-1058
Fernando Meza, At-Large Seat 1: fmeza@jaxbchfl.net; 904-247-6102
Dan Janson, At-Large Seat 2: djanson@jaxbchfl.net904-247-6103
Chet Stokes, At-Large Seat 3: cstokes@jaxbchfl.net; 904-247-6217
Cory Nichols, District 1, Seat 4: cnichols@jaxbchfl.net; 904-877-0304
Georgette Dumont, District 2, Seat 5: gdumont@jaxbchfl.net; 904-877-1233
Sandy Golding, District 3, Seat 6: sgolding@jaxbchfl.net; 904-877-0675

Please note you can call or text the Council members
at their city phone number.

Meetings are live-streamed and saved for future viewing.

City Council Meetings: 1st and 3rd Monday at 6 pm (except for Jan. & July, when there is only a meeting on the 3rd Monday due to holidays)
City Council Briefings: 2nd and 4th Mondays at 5:30 pm
Planning Commission: 2nd and 4th Mondays at 7:00 pm
Board of Adjustments: 1st and 3rd Tuesday at 7:00 pm
Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA): 4th Monday at 5:00 pm

You can review the agenda for each meeting here.
Community Updates
Trash Services
The City of Jacksonville Beach contracts its solid waste collection and disposal with a third-party vendor. That vendor (Advanced Disposal Systems) was recently bought out by Waste Management. The Department of Public Works has been working with Waste Management to transition into its new service territory. Waste Management is experiencing delays in collecting residential solid waste, commercial solid waste, recycling, yard waste, and bulk pickups. This is not only a citywide concern for Jacksonville Beach, but regionally for other areas including Atlantic Beach, Clay County, and other jurisdictions.
Pickup times are from 7:00am until 7:00pm. Your pickup has not been missed until after that time. If you have been missed, please notify Waste Management at 904-338-9700, Option 1. To report to Jacksonville Beach Public Works directly, please email publicworks@jaxbchfl.net. Please include your name, address, concern and attach a photo if you wish. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience during this transition.

If you believe you have seen a violation of the City Code, please contact our Code Enforcement Division, you can:
  • report a potential code violation. Send an e-mail request or submit an online request for service.
  • report unregistered short-term rental units or file noise, parking, trash, and other nuisance complaints related to short-term rental properties. Submit an online request for service.

If a street light is out in your neighborhood, please let Beaches Energy Services know! You can report it at this link. Thank you for your help!
Safe Streets
Please remember to slow down when you are driving in the City. Take an extra second or two to look out for people in crosswalks. Look both ways before stepping on the gas. The weather is warming up, so there will be an increase in people riding bikes, walking, running, and enjoying our community. Sit back, relax, and enjoy #TheBeachLife! We are lucky to live it.
Huguenot Park
This group of residents will be asking their neighbors and other stakeholders for input into a long-term plan, so please be on the lookout and participate in the planning process for your park.

In the meantime, a change in the tennis courts' hours of use for the tennis leagues has resulted in not needing an 8th tennis court. It should also be noted that the courts are open to public use, free of charge, from noon to 3 pm Monday through Friday.

The City is still planning on improving and beautifying the park. I need to thank Ken Marsh for taking the lead in coordinating the neighborhood to provide feedback to the City on what they would like to see in the park. It will not happen overnight, but we are on our way!

If you would like to be involved with Huguenot Park's future, please reach out to Ken Marsh. He would love to hear from you.
Sunshine Park
You were heard! Because of community feedback stating the playground equipment was getting very worn (the playground is heavily used), the City will move the rebuilding of the play area up into the 2022 budget.

The City is in the early phases of the budget process. This park is in a Community Redevelopment Area, and it is our Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) that is charged with making decisions about the projects in that area. The playground is one of those projects.

Another project that has recently been approved is a new basketball court, in addition to two pickleball courts. The basketball court will be moved approximately 5' to the south to make room for two pickleball courts to its north. The project is expected to start at the end of July/beginning of August and will take approximately 6-7 weeks to complete.
Update on New Businesses
Element Hotel

Welcome to Jax Beach Element: by Westin hotel! Located at the corner of Beach Blvd and 3rd Street, this hotel offers rooms with a fully equipped kitchen, access to bicycles, a pool/sauna, gas grills, a fire pit, EV charging stations, and healthy snack options for its guests. It is ideal for extended stays to the beach. Oh, did I mention it's VERY pet-friendly? (Dogs - and cats - get a special welcome bag, a bed to sleep on, and a play toy. Just like home...)
The Bearded Pig

The Bearded Pig is open! Stop by and enjoy some BBQ. It's open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 am - 9 pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 11 am - 10 pm, and Sundays from 11 am - 9 pm.
Business Development Updates
Beach Bowl

Beach Bowl is coming back! The $7.5 million renovation plan was approved by the Board of Adjustments. While this will still be THE place to bowl, there are also plans for additional entertainment options, a restaurant, and roof-top alfresco dining.

Jax Beach Town Center
(used to be Ruby Beach & Campeche Bay)
In 2019, Jax Beach Town Center, LLC purchased the Ruby Beach building, and then purchased the building that housed Campeche Bay in 2020. Demolition of the buildings is complete and construction has begun.

The project will be a mixed-use property with a restaurant with roof-top dining, offices, and retail. It is expected to be completed in mid-2022.

Other Construction Projects

The City is awaiting the submission of new building plans for both the Springhill Suites site (located where the Pier Cantina was) and what has been termed The Dolphin Depot Project site (across the street from Margaritaville). Both locations have been cleared. The same is true for the property behind the Pavilion.
Future Development Plans
There are two large development plans that will be in front of the Planning Commission and City Council in the future. Both have had a workshop to present their plans to the Council and will be filling applications soon.

Beach Marine Property
In May, Council held a workshop to listen to the development concepts for the Beaches Marine property. The plan above was presented to Council and you can watch the discussion below. The developer proposed adding additional parking near the boat ramp, moving 2nd Avenue North (which is a county road, so Jax Beach would not need to pay for that), and change the land use of the property from:
  • Residential to Conservation (10.31 AC)
  • Conservation to Recreation (3.02 AC)
  • Conservation to Right of Way (4.91 AC)
  • Conservation to Comercial (1.78 AC)
The proposed changes would require a change to the City's Comprehensive Plan and any changes would need to be approved by the Planning Commission and the City Council.

Adventure Landing Property


CC - Community Comercial
RHD - Residential High Density
RLD - Residential Low Density
ROS - Recreational Open Space
EW - Estuarine Wetlands

ZONING CODES (Land Development Code)

C2 - Commercial General
RM-1 - Residential Multi-Family
RS-1 - Residential Single-Family
PUD - Planned Unit Development
In June, Council held a workshop to listen to the development concepts for the Adventure Landing property. Adventure Landing filed for bankruptcy and will be closing by October 31 this year. The property has been purchased, and the plan above was presented to Council. No applications have been submitted yet. The project is in its early stages, and they are open to community feedback. You can watch the discussion below. The developer proposed:
  • 427 Apartments
  • Parking Garage
  • Change in land use of the property from:
  • 27.09 AC Developable Land (CC, RHD, RLD) to 13.05 AC (RHD)
  • 27.09 AC Conservation Land (ROS, EW) to 40.79 AC

The proposed changes would require a change to the City's Comprehensive Plan, and any changes would need to be approved by the Planning Commission and the City Council.
Jax Beach Online
The City continually strives to improve its online presence and find effective ways to communicate with its residents, businesses, and citizens. While there is still much more to do, below are the City's current official social media accounts:
Jax Beach also has its own newsletter! It's easy to sign up.
Other Items of Note
Small Islands

You may have heard about a series of islands in the Intracoastal Waterway. The Small Islands, as they are called, are located in the viewshed of Jacksonville Beach’s Cradle Creek Preserve and can be seen from the Butler Boulevard Bridge. The Islands gained a lot of attention on social media, and the story was even picked up by Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary, who promoted the sale of the islands in a video that went viral. In response, over 3,000 people signed a petition to save the Small Islands.

As a result of the public outcry, North Florida Land Trust got in touch with the owner, who recognized the conservation value of the property and agreed to enter a contract to sell the Islands to NFLT.

Now, North Florida Land Trust must raise $350,000 to purchase and preserve these islands to ensure they are never developed.

If you want to be part of saving these islands, please consider donating. Any size investment that you are able to contribute to this effort will help to maintain our community feel on the intracoastal side of the island.
Congratulations Jax Beach!
Jacksonville Beach has been selected by the Florida League of Cities as the winner of its Environmental Stewardship Award for the City's #CleanDarkFlat campaign to raise awareness of protecting nesting sea turtles for the 2020 nesting season. This campaign is a partnership between Beaches Energy Services and the Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol.
Show your support by purchasing a mug at one of the following local businesses:
Blue Zone
The Elected officials and community leaders joined a Webinar about how BlueZones can enhance communities and the health of those who live in them. This project is being spearheaded by Baptist Health and is in the assessment stage in NEFL. Learn more about BlueZones Jacksonville and/or watch the Activate Jacksonville Webinar!

The Jax Beach Pier
Construction on the Pier has been underway! The Florida Times-Union has written some interesting stories about the work:

The expected completion is in Spring 2022.
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