St. Augustine leaders approve HGTV Dream Home after months of delays

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — The HGTV Dream Home on Anastasia Island is closer to becoming a dream come true for the winner.


But the road getting here was anything but dreamy.

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Tonight, the St. Augustine planning and zoning board voted to approve the Dream Home after a nightmarish few months of delays from the city and unanswered questions from the developer.

Action News Jax has been following the dream home drama since February when the board met with the questions that would take them months to have answered.

At the time, we told you the developer was asking for approval of the seawall surrounding the home, which had already been built. Today, the city brought up that the wall, per city code, is supposed to be 25 feet away from the nearby wetlands, since the home is built in a conservation area. But the developer says it’s only about 10 feet away, with the property pushed back to protect the trees in front of the home.

READ: ‘Vast needs of the community:’ $123M St. Johns County plan moves forward to build parks, libraries

It’s an issue the city is now moving past.

“This issue has gone on for months at this point,” a board member said during today’s meeting. “If there were no trees involved, this would be 25 feet from the jurisdictional line,” said another. Jurisdictional lines, per the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, distinguish which waters are under state authority.

During its meeting in February, the board also came across another issue that tied up the approval process for months: the actual width of the home.

Action News Jax told you, during that meeting, the board found the home is 80 feet wide, which violates the city’s 75-foot limit for development by a conservation zone. The Dream Home is in a neighborhood called Pelican Reef, which, today, the board pointed out already has a number of homes wider than 75 feet.

READ: City of St. Augustine launches conservation program to enhance community resiliency

With the nearby homes stretching the rule, the city put the problem in the past.

“I’ve had enough presentations and answers that I’m comfortable with what came in front of us,” one of the board members said.

The winner of the Dream Home was supposed to be picked at the end of February. But HGTV still has until April 30th to tell them they won. After that, HGTV says there’s a five day window for the winner to go public.

HGTV says if the winner of the Dream Home doesn’t want it, there’s a $650,000 cash option, instead.

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