Busy agenda for the St Augustine Beach commission

On Monday evening, October 7, 2019, the City of St Augustine Beach held a Regular Commission Meeting, which was reported to Historic City News by Communications Coordinator Cindy Walker. 

Issues last night included Domestic Violence Awareness Month, City Government Week, sea level rise and deforestation and beach erosion, repealing ordinances that banned plastic bags, straws and Styrofoam, flags on City property, the regulation of e-scooters, the Mickler Boulevard piping project, a non-ad valorem assessment on the collection of household waste, a new bocce ball league, and a resolution to recognize climate change.

  • Representatives from Betty Griffin Center presented a proclamation to declare October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This proclamation encourages public awareness, education, and for our community to speak out against domestic violence. For more information, please visit: http://bettygriffincenter.org/.
  • Next, Walker presented a proclamation to declare October 21 – 27 as Florida City Government Week. To honor this week, the City will host a week-long historical display and celebration titled “A Step Back in Time: Celebrating the City’s 60th Birthday.” For more information, please visit: http://www.sabevents.com/a-step-back-in-time-celebrating-the-citys-60th-birthday/.

The Sustainability and Environmental Planning Advisory Council (SEPAC) presented findings on beach erosion, sea level rise, and deforestation. They discussed the causes of these issues and action the City can include in its strategic plan to combat these changes. These actions include the beach nourishment project, retaining and planting more trees, strengthen the flood-resistant construction requirements in the building code, encourage residential on-site rainfall conservation, and reduce stormwater run-off pollution.

The City Commission passed the final reading of Ordinance 19-16, repealing Ordinances 19-03 and 19-04, which bans plastic bags, straws, and Styrofoam. However, the City still encourages local establishments to be environmentally conscious and reduce or eliminate the use of such products. Establishments that voluntarily use eco-friendly products will be awarded for their efforts; details on this award will be published on a future date.

The Commission passed Resolution 19-10, which does not allow non-governmental flags to be flown on City property, unless: an organization presents its request to an individual Commissioner, that Commissioner then presents it to the Commission, and the request is approved by a proclamation that allows the flag to be flown for a limited time.

  • Next, City Commissioners considered a draft ordinance that would regulate electric scooters and other mobility devices in the City’s limits. Please note, this consideration will keep the City’s streets, sidewalks, and rights-of-way compliant with ADA and other federal and state regulations. This draft ordinance would set safety requirements (like minimum age of operation, helmet requirements, and mandatory safety training), a maximum number of allowed permits and how long they would be valid, and other various requirements for operation. To review this draft ordinance, please visit:https://www.staugbch.com/sites/default/files/fileattachments/city_commission/meeting/packets/41381/commission_book_10-07-2019.pdf

The Commission also considered implementing a pilot program modeled after other cities to determine what will work best for the City of St. Augustine Beach. After discussion, the Commission decided to revise this draft ordinance and discuss it further at the November 4th Commission Meeting.

  • Public Works Director Bill Tredik requested two amendments to the Mickler Blvd Piping project. During construction of the ditch, the sidewalk was damaged. The contractor will replace the sidewalk; however, instead of replacing the sidewalk with the required thickness of four inches, the Commission voted to upgrade and replace it with a thickness of six inches. The next amendment is a request for additional funding to compensate for unexpected additional piping and fill needed to complete the project. After discussion, the Commission decided to award this additional funding.

The Commission continued to review an addition of a non-ad valorem assessment for the collection of solid waste and recycling, effective fiscal year 2021. The proposed estimated cost to residents would be $230, including the $74 fee currently in effect, and would match St. Johns County’s proposed fee for unincorporated areas. Transient rentals would be included in this change and be treated like a commercial business by being charged an annual fee of $460.34. This change also means that the City would no longer provide trash or recycling services to apartment/condo complexes with five or more units; they would need to pay private haulers for collection services. After discussion, the Commission decided to continue discussion of this topic at the November 4th Commission Meeting.

  • Mr. Michael Castango requested to use the existing bocce ball courts by a new bocce league. An agreement between the league and the City will be drafted and presented to staff at a future date. More information on the bocce ball league will be available on the City’s website once an agreement has been established.
  • The Sustainability and Environmental Planning Advisory Council (SEPAC) presented and the City Commission passed a resolution that recognizes the threat of climate change and global warming and supports the Commission adopting policies that will protect the City’s natural resources.
  • Discussion concerning changes to land development regulations and rules of civility for public participation will be deferred to the next regular commission meeting. The next regular commission meeting will be held Monday, November 4, 2019 at 6:00pm at St. Augustine Beach City Hall (2200 A1A South, St. Augustine Beach, FL 32080.) This meeting is open to the public and the public is invited and encouraged to attend.

St. Augustine Beach Commissioner Dylan Rumrell has rescheduled the Town Hall Meeting, postponed by Hurricane Dorian, to Tuesday, October 29, 2019.  The meeting will be held from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Courtyard by Marriott Hotel (605 A1A Beach Boulevard, St Augustine Beach, FL 32080).