Jax Beach residents overwhelmingly vote down height restriction amendment

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — A renewed fight to keep building heights in Jacksonville Beach to 35 feet overwhelmingly won, again. 82% of voters disagreed with increasing the restriction for development at the Latham Plaza parking lot to 55 feet on Election Day.


The amendment to the charter was approved by the city council and passed on to the ballot back in March (Jax Beach residents to vote on proposal for taller buildings – Action News Jax).

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“To be able to be more flexible, more creative with the space — one thing everyone is always asking us for is rooftop dining and opportunity to enjoy the beautiful weather we have here,” Mayor Chris Hoffman said. “This is a perfect project in my mind to see first of all, what the will of the voters is and if the voters support it.”

But a large group came out in opposition to the proposal. It included many of the same neighbors who pushed for a height restriction in the first place back in 2004. Jax Beach voters approved the restriction then by 76%.

“We think a small, local community with reasonably sized buildings is a much better draw than some big thing that looks like Daytona Beach or Miami,” John Tipton, a resident, said. “We’re afraid this is just the beginning to increase the height limit in the central business district.”

Related Story: Jax Beach residents to vote on proposal for taller buildings

Mayor Hoffman told Action News Jax in March that the referendum was to gauge voter’s interest in a change and council would then consider changes to the rest of the central business district.

“We’re getting some great new development at 35 — these are all new here and they’re doing great so why can’t we keep it at 35 feet,” said Brenda Shields.

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18% of voters voted yes on the referendum Tuesday.

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