ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — This afternoon, the St. Johns County Planning and Zoning Agency unanimously voted to recommend major changes proposed for the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club.
This comes a week after the Ponte Vedra Zoning and Adjustment Board denied a pitch on behalf of Gate Petroleum, who owns the resort property, to renovate it.
Developers say the proposal’s been in the works for the last four years. Action News Jax has been following the pitched plan since it went public in the last few months.
If approved, it would include:
- A renovated surf club.
- A new sports club with a parking garage.
- A new lodge and fitness center, with its own parking garage.
- Newly renovated rooms.
The entirety of the project is planned to be finished over the next 30 years.
Today’s 5-hour meeting on the proposal was much shorter than last week’s 12-hour meeting, most of which was spent between considerations and questions.
Two questions were at the center of today’s meeting: how tall, and how much taller?
Developers are asking the new and renovated buildings its proposing be at least 50 feet tall, with at least 10 feet being added to some existing buildings. It doesn’t sit well with locals, whose homes are mostly restricted to 35 feet.
“This needs to go back for more consideration,” Bill Harris, a Ponte Vedra homeowner living near the property, said. “This plan deserves more scrutiny.”
Harris lives at the Carlyle condo, right next to where the new lodge and fitness center would be built, if the plan gets final approval. The parking garage that’s part of the plan would be 55 feet tall, according to the resort’s pitched renovations, which is about 30 feet taller than the current height of the lodge.
“Right now, the building would be right outside my window,” Harris said. “And that’s not what we do in Ponte Vedra.”
But developers say they’re working with homeowners to keep the community close, instead of cluttered.
“We have already made concessions to building height related to the Carlyle, out of respect to people living at the Carlyle,” Ellen Avery-Smith, one of the presenters of the proposal, said.
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A final vote on the project is expected in November.