City of St Augustine purchases Safe Zone for homeless campers

Public Park located in South Davis Shores at 91-93 Coquina Avenue

Grand Opening Date – TBA

Wade Ross, Moderator
Vagrant Watch Group

It is with great pleasure that the St. Augustine Vagrant Watch Group announces to local Historic City News reporters that City Manager John Regan, Public Works Director Mike Cullam, and Commissioners Leanna Freeman, Nancy Sikes-Kline and others, have finally relented and purchased land for a safe zone and public park.

This public area will not only allow law enforcement to enforce public camping ordinances in the Historic City, but it will also be an area for the public to visit and enjoy.

The Property is located just across the Bridge of Lions in South Davis Shores at 91-93 Coquina Avenue. Plans for the Safe Zone and park and will include coquina benches, a picnic table, a historic kiosk, privacy fence, trash receptacles, etc.

Commissioner Leanna Freeman said before the meeting, “I want people to have access to our beautiful views and marsh front and wildlife just in a passive way just so that when you’re strolling along you can walk up and see the marsh.

The St. Augustine Record

Former Vice Mayor Todd Neville, a property owner in Davis Shores, supported the purchase. He said the city’s vision plan makes livability a priority, and he said the city has promoted livability in a number of ways.

The St. Augustine Record

City Manager John Regan who lives nearby said, “We can do very, very quick inexpensive improvements that would address the flooding that occurs when the tides are so high. What it does is it makes the property acquisition beneficial at two levels. One, it can provide the opportunity to deal with the flooding. And then, secondly, it conserves property on a high functioning wetland for the public benefit.”

The St. Augustine Record

After more than two years of making requests of the City of St. Augustine, the St. Augustine Vagrant Watch Group would like to thank the Commission for creating this safe space for our homeless population and for providing a green space for all to enjoy.

(Maps will be provided upon the completion of this project.)