• St. Johns County moving forward with sand project despite one property owner's refusal

    By: Lorena Inclan, Action News Jax


    VILANO BEACH, Fla. - A plan to restore Vilano Beach by pumping more sand onto the shore can now move forward, despite one homeowner’s refusal to sign a temporary easement.

    Action News Jax reported Monday how one homeowner could hold up the efforts, but the county decided Tuesday to work around that property instead.

    County spokesman Michael Ryan said an emergency meeting on the issue was in the works for Wednesday, but officials have since canceled the meeting in light of the new plan.

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    “That one outstanding parcel exists right in the middle of the project, so unfortunately that property will not receive any sand in the sand renourishment project, so that's their decision,” Ryan said.

    The county did receive written consent from 153 homeowners, many of whom will allow crews to run pipes on their properties in order to get the sand to the affected areas.

    “They very much need sand for the homeowners, as well as for the protection of A1A, which is an evacuation route,” Ryan said.

    Starting this month, sand dredged from the Intracoastal Waterway and the St. Augustine Inlet will be pumped onto parts of Vilano Beach from south of 2nd Street to just north of 22nd Street.

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    “The good news is we're able to move forward and we'll just lay sand everywhere else right around that property and we will not impact it whatsoever,” Ryan said.

    Some homeowners believe the sand is a temporary fix and would eventually like to see dunes.

    The project has a price tag of about $5 million. According to St. Johns County, it’s being funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Florida Inland Navigation District. It’s expected to be finished sometime in June.


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