Local resident’s controversy on floating structure in St. Johns County waters

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — A controversy is growing over a floating structure in the water of St. Johns County.

A county commissioner said several residents were complaining about one floating structure in the Matanzas Inlet.


On Tuesday, St. John’s County Commissioners discussed an ordinance that would prohibit floating structures.

Jeffrey Thomas is the owner of Hurricane Watersports on the Matanzas inlet.

Some of the water rentals he provides to visitors are paddle boards, kayaks, water trampolines and platforms.

A county commissioner said people in the area don’t like the look of this.

“Several residents referred to it as a real eye-sore in what is probably one of the most beautiful inlets in the state of Florida,” said St. John’s County Commissioner, Henry Dean.

According to Florida law, a floating structure can be defined as a floating entity that is not primarily used as a means of transportation on the water but serves purposes or provides services.

Commissioner Dean said several residents have complained about parties taking place on the structure in the Matanzas Inlet.

“I think we have an obligation to keep it relatively pristine and relatively quiet so people can enjoy the sunset, enjoy swimming and enjoy the recreational activities without these wild parties going on,” said Commissioner Dean.

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Thomas told Action News Jax he had one live music festival but does not sell alcohol, and he uses this mainly for his rental business. He said it’s common in other places.

“People have had floating boats and I’m just the first to do this here, in this area,” said Thomas. “People love it, boats come and gather around listen to music and it’s really a good thing that brings the community together.”

If the ordinance is passed, St. Johns County would be able to ban anything that’s considered a floating structure.

There will be a second reading for the ordinance in early August.

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