Chair/District 4

Board of County Commissioners

  P: 904.209.0304   

C: 904.814.9403



Main Street
August 20


Planning and

Zoning Agency 

August 21



Zoning Agency 
September 4


Ponte Vedra Zoning Adjustment Board

September 8


West Augustine

Steering Committee

September 8


Tourist Development Council

September 15


Main Street
September 17
Zoning Agency 
September 18

All meeting dates are subject to change. Please visit www.sjcfl.us for current meeting information. 





Florida Pro/Am SkimboardTournament

August 14-17


Labor Day Holiday

September 1


Vilano Beach Sunset Celebration

September 6


For upcoming St. Augustine Amphitheatre or Ponte Vedra Concert Hall events please call 904.209.0367 or visit the events website.
Quick Links
St. Aug. VCB


Vilano Beach Main Street


450th Commemoration


St. Johns Cultural Council


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Thank you for registering for the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners District 4 newsletter. Inside you will find an update regarding projects and events in District 4 and timely information about St. Johns County programs, services, and initiatives.

St. Johns County District 4 Update 


With the summer winding down and the school year about to begin, this is the perfect time to reflect upon the state of the community and how fortunate we are to live in St. Johns County. St. Johns County is one of the strongest counties financially in the state of Florida, and in the nation for that matter. To prove this, from an independent standpoint, Standard & Poor's, the top credit-rating agency in the nation, just upped our credit rating by two levels from AA- to AA+. This will be huge for St. Johns County and future, lower interest rates, and it's a great acknowledgement of the County's financial strength. In addition, St. Johns County's debt level is consistent with that of an organization experiencing substantial residential growth and economic development. The County has over $1.4 billion in asset value with a current long-term debt of $205 million. Actually, our debt level was $204 million in 2010, so the increase has been only $1 million, or .004 percent over the past four years.


As stated by Standard & Poor's Rating Services in February, "The County's overall net debt is low at just 1.5 percent of market value." Plus we've increased reserves by $10 million over the past year. The County has cut spending by $128 million, or 18 percent, since 2007, and we're operating at the same tax base as in 2005. Our budget is balanced each year as mandated by the state. Of Florida's 67 counties, according to Tax Watch, St. Johns County has the second-lowest tax burden in the state of Florida. In addition, the unemployment rate in St. Johns County over the past three years has been cut almost in half to 5.1 percent, the fourth lowest in the state. The county is also rated fifth in the nation for job creation by both Money Magazine and CNN. According to Florida's June unemployment report, the County increased employment by 3,777 new positions over the past year.


St. Johns County ranks just about No. 1 in the state in just about every category, and the New York Times recently ranked St. Johns County No. 1 as the best county in which to live in Florida and in the top 4 percent nationally. The high quality of life in St. Johns County is undeniable, and the County's fiscal soundness is undisputable. We recently released the 2013/2014 Accomplishments, Accolades, and Recognitions List. I encourage you to visit the website, read the list, and again take a few moments to reflect on how fortunate we all are to live and work in a county that not only offers such an array of beautiful natural amenities and recreational opportunities, but is also managed and governed with a conservative fiscal vision that balances the service and program needs of our residents with available financial resources.




Jay Morris  

Chair/District 4

St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners 

FY 2015 Proposed Budget and Tentative Millage Rate

St. Johns County Commissioners received the proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 budget and approved the tentative 2015 millage rate on July 29. There is no millage/property tax rate increase proposed for FY 2015. Although total county property values have increased by approximately 6.2%, not all individual property taxes will increase by 6.2%. Properties with a homestead exemption will experience an approximate 1.5% increase in their county property taxes while non-homesteaded properties will experience approximately a 6% increase. Property taxes comprise approximately 21% of the total county budget revenue. Other revenues include utility fees, solid waste disposal fees, service charges, grants, gas taxes, and sales tax, most of which are statutorily restricted or obligated to specific purposes. The Board of County Commissioners will hold Public Budget Hearings to adopt the FY 2015 budget and millage rate at 5:01 p.m. on September 3 and 17, 2014. Both hearings will be held at the County Administration Building, 500 San Sebastian View, St. Augustine, Florida 32084.

Jacksonville Jaguars To Host St. Johns County Game Day

St. Johns County has partnered with the Jacksonville Jaguars to host the Second Annual St. Johns County Day on October 19 against the Cleveland Browns. The event will include a game ticket, for a seat in a St. Johns County Day section at EverBank Field, a tailgate party in lot TT featuring Bono's Pit Bar-B-Q, an appearance by the ROAR cheerleaders, live music, and a Jacksonville Jaguars T-shirt. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. and the tailgate party begins at 10 a.m. The fee is $50 per ticket. Season ticket members may attend the tailgate party for $20. Please visit www.jaguars.com/stjohnscountyday  and enter the password "SJCDFAM" to purchase tickets. To obtain additional information or to purchase tickets, please contact Ryan Lohnes at 904.633.6300 or lohnesr@nfl.jaguars.com.

St. Johns County Pioneers Public-Private Partnership with Compressed Natural Gas Facility

In partnership with St. Johns County, a private company is scheduled to build a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling station this year that is projected to save the county millions of dollars in annual fuel costs. A regional leader in pioneering the use of CNG, St. Johns County will convert approximately 130 of its fleet vehicles to use the lower-cost fuel. The County will leverage a $730,000 North Florida Transportation Organization grant to help fund the fleet conversion. In addition, the $2 million facility will be open to the public, with Ponte Vedra-based Advanced Disposal and Republic Services both indicating future fleet conversions to utilize the station. Depending on fluctuating fuel costs, the CNG could provide a savings of approximately $1.50 per gallon for the County and its corporate and economic development partners. In addition, CNG is a considered to be an environmentally cleaner alternative to traditional fuel and is produced domestically. The County is expected to use the equivalent of at least 200,000 gallons per year.

 2014 St. Johns County Homeless Summit Initiates Action

St. Johns County and the St. Johns County Health and Human Services Advisory Council recently hosted the inaugural St. Johns County Homeless Summit. The event provided a platform where meaningful dialogue took place on issues related to homelessness in St. Johns County. In addition, the summit offered the opportunity for long term strategic planning to be conducted collectively by independent service providers, local businesses, and residents that resulted in unique perspectives and valuable insight as we move forward with developing a plan to address the issue of homelessness in our community. The event was free and open to the public. Please call 904.209.6064 for additional information. Together, we can make a difference.

St. Johns County Quality of Life Ranked in Top 4% Nationwide

A recent study published by the New York Times ranked the quality of life for every county in the United States. Out of 3,135 U.S. counties, St. Johns ranked in the top 4% nationally and was the number one ranked county in the State of Florida. Quality of life indicators included education, median household income, unemployment rate, disability rate, life expectancy, and obesity. As St. Johns County continues to grow, so does the desire to offer residents the best quality of life. Abundant natural resources, diverse arts and culture opportunities, and a vibrant local economy are just a few of the things working together to keep the community strong and flourishing.

D.R. Horton Cuts Ribbon on New Regional Headquarters in St. Johns County

D.R. Horton, one of the Nation's largest homebuilders, cut the ribbon in August on a $3 million, 35,000-square-foot regional headquarters on Race Track Road. The new commercial office building houses more than 80 employees in St. Johns County and the company has projected growth of up to 270 employees within the next three to five years. The project is a relocation from Jacksonville that also includes space for a home design center, homebuilding operations, and mortgage and title offices. D.R. Horton was founded in 1978, currently operates in 28 states, and has constructed more than 1,140 communities. Having identified Economic Development as a top priority, the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners helped celebrate this welcomed addition to the County's growing list of corporate partners at both the groundbreaking and the ribbon cutting ceremony.

 Hurricane Season Preparedness

Every year we, as residents of St. Johns County, are reminded of the vulnerability of our coastal community to hurricanes. As the County continues to grow and develop, this fact becomes increasingly important. You and your family need to know what to do and where to go should the threat of hurricane (or any disaster) become real. A lack of education and planning are the common links of all major disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions should be taken, you can greatly reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster. If you live in a coastal or low-lying region, an area that floods frequently, or a manufactured home, you will be asked to evacuate.


A disaster can strike quickly and without warning. You can be forced to evacuate your neighborhood or be confined to your home. What will you do when disaster strikes? Where will your family be when disaster strikes? Are you prepared? Begin by gathering some basic, yet vital information. Know if you live in an evacuation area or not. Know your home's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding, and wind. If you are asked to evacuate, where will you go? Know the evacuation routes you will take. Do you have a family member with special needs? Do you have pets? Does your plan include them? Write a family plan based on this information. Families can cope with a disaster by preparing in advance. Knowing what to do in the event of disaster is your best protection. Visit www.sjcemergencymanagement.org for additional information.

St. Johns County Recognized for Extraordinary Collaboration Between Local Governments, Businesses, and Tourism Industry

St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors & Convention Bureau recently presented St. Johns County with an award recognizing the organization for extraordinary collaboration between local governments, businesses, and the tourism industry. The Tribute to Teamwork award was presented in recognition of collaborative efforts on a variety of projects and initiatives including the recent Mumford and Sons Gentlemen of the Road Stopover Tour. The bureau noted cooperation between the County, several municipalities, law enforcement agencies, first responders, and the local business community as playing a key role in ensuring the event was safe, successful, and well-organized. The St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners, Administration, Fire Rescue Department, and Amphitheatre staff were all highlighted for their participation in bringing the project to fruition.

Flood Risk And Mitigation Strategy Workshops

Floodplain Manager and Plans Examiner, James R. Schock, is hosting a series of workshops at St. Johns County Libraries to provide information regarding flood risk and mitigation strategies. During the free workshops he will assist the public in using the County website to find what flood area they may be in, the value of flood insurance, and any mitigation that may be possible. He will be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hastings Library on September 12, the Bartram Trail Library on September 16, the Main Library on September 17, the Southeast Library on September 22, the Anastasia Library on September 23, and the Ponte Vedra Branch Library September 26. For more information please contact Mr. Schock at 904.827.6806 or jschock@sjcfl.us.

Coastal Restoration Project Protects Beaches and Enhances Wildlife Habitat

St. Johns County's Beach Services, Habitat Conservation, and E ngineering Divisions recently partnered to install a coastal restoration zone along the beach between Pope Road and 16th Street. The restoration includes the planting of 4,144 sea oats, 1,185 feet of sand fencing, and the installation of approximately 150 10-foot spurs.


In addition to enhancing the overall aesthetics of the beach, the project can help retain sand along the coast, increase wildlife habitat, limit the amount of light that can affect sea turtle hatchlings, and create a wildlife corridor for Anastasia Island beach mice. For more information please call Beach Services at 904.209.0331. 

School Distrct Honors St. Johns County as Career Academy Partner of the Year

St. Johns County School District recently honored the County as the Career Academy Partner of the Year. Key to this designation was St. Johns County's commitment to supporting the district's career academies through internships that prepare students for college and career by providing opportunities to learn through the lens of relevant and engaging real-life-experience. The designation took place during the annual Academy Awards celebration May 22, 2014 at the NFRA Conference Center in St. Augustine, FL, where the School Board, business and community partners, post-secondary education, teachers and students celebrated the Academies' success for the 2013-14 School Year.

Reach the Beach Program Helps St. Johns County Residents and Visitors Enjoy Sand, Sun, and Surf

St. Johns County's new Reach the Beach program helps residents and visitors enjoy the sun, sand, and surf. The program allows beachgoers to receive beach access and facility updates, service information, and vehicular access points through a mobile website, Twitter, Facebook, and a Beach Conditions Hotline. Wireless device users may access the new Reach the Beach mobile website at http://www.sjcfl.us/beach, Twitter members can visit http://www.twitter.com/sjcbeaches to obtain updates, and those with a Facebook page can "like" http://www.facebook.com/SJCBeaches to receive information in their newsfeed. iPhone and iPad owners can download the Reach the Beach icon to access the mobile website directly from their application screen.


In addition to the Reach the Beach program, St. Johns County recently completed new beach facility updates that will also make the beach experience more enjoyable and convenient for residents and visitors. The parking lot at the St. Johns County Fishing Pier has been redesigned to increase parking by approximately 20 percent. The new paved Pope Road parking lot also provides an additional 26 parking spaces, and is now equipped with a shower facility for beach visitor convenience. To ensure a safe and enjoyable beach experience, please remember:

  • Vehicular beach access is subject to current weather and tide conditions and may be restricted to four wheel drive vehicles without prior notice in order to ensure a safe experience for all beach visitors.
  • It is illegal to possess fireworks, consume alcohol, or create an open fire on a St. Johns County Beach.
  • The St. Johns County Fishing Pier offers chair and umbrella rentals, and sells bait, beach and fishing supplies, and a variety of refreshments.
  • A limited number of beach wheelchairs are available for reservation.

For additional information about St. Johns County beaches, call 904.209.0344.

Washback Turtle Volunteer Fall Training

St. Johns County is seeking volunteers for the 2014 Washback Turtle Season to survey the wrack line, the row of seaweed that has been pushed onto the beach by the tide or a storm, for stranded sea turtles. Washback turtles are slightly larger than a hatchling. Once sea turtles hatch from their nests, they swim in search of a large mass of seaweed where they find refuge and protection. Storms and high tide events occurring August through November can push the mass of seaweed onto the beach. The washbacks are extremely tired, dehydrated and in need of medical attention. Washback volunteers survey the wrack lines and contact authorities if a stranded turtle is identified. The program does not have standard shifts or hours. Volunteers are contacted through an on-call system to complete surveys. All volunteers assisting the washback program must complete a County volunteer application, pass a background check, possess a valid Florida driver's license, attend one orientation session, and attend one mandatory site-specific training. Children under 18 are welcome to volunteer, but they must be accompanied by an adult or guardian. For more information, please call 904.209.0331 ext. 7 or visit the Washback Volunteers facebook page


Washback Volunteer Orientation Dates:

- 5:30 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. on August 12 at the Ponte Vedra Library

- 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. on August 13 at the Main Branch Library

- 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. on August 26 at the Island Branch Library


Washback Volunteer Site Specific Training Dates:

- August 29 at South Ponte Vedra Recreation Area

- August 30 at Butler Park East

Labor Day Holiday Hours

All administrative departments of the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners, the St. Johns County Library System, and the Pet Center will be closed Monday, September 1 in observance of the Labor Day Holiday. All offices will resume standard business hours on Tuesday, September 2. The garbage, recycling, and yard debris schedules will not change due to the holiday and the solid waste scale houses at Tillman Ridge and Stratton Road will remain open.

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