Thursday, January 20, 2022

Help Save St. Johns County -- Speak at January 25, 2022 Growth Management Workshop! (From SaveGuanaNow)

Enough corruption and its effects -- clearcutting, wetland-destroying, wildlife killing ugly "developments" with their crowded schools and clogged roads. 

Come speak at the Tuesday, January 25, 2022 Growth Management Workshop at St. Johns County Commission, 500 Sebastian View, at 9 am.

From SaveGuanaNow!:  

January 25th at 9 a.m., please attend St. Johns County's 
Growth Management Workshop (public comments invited) 
at 500 San Sebastian View in St. Augustine - off of Phillips Hwy. 

We're under siege. St. Johns County is one of the fastest growing counties in the U.S. and has been since well before the Covid-related boom in real estate. 

Our county's “PUD Development Activity Report" already shows 56,353 residential units approvedbut not yet built. (Most are in the northern part of the county.) That tally doesn't include November's approvals by commissioners which added 840 more units. Most of these approvals involve amending the county's comprehensive plan, which developers are not entitled to.

The county has now scheduled a Growth Management Workshop on four topics, and public comment is invited. Let your voice be heard. If you're working or can't make it that day, email all five commissioners with your views by Friday Jan. 21. Many are wearing green to the meeting to show desire for less development. 

At the December 21st BOCC meeting, commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of changing 2,300 acres of mostly rural land to residential and commercial, with 5600 homes to be built, long termThat's in addition to Silverleaf's already approved 10,700 units, for a total of 16,300 new residential units. Residents opposing the development requested to reschedule the Silverleaf hearing after the Christmas holidays, but were denied

Our state senator, Travis Hutson, is the Silverleaf developer. The Hutson Companieshave already put 20,000 homesites in northeast Florida, and they want the Silverleaf addition to be next - softening the blow by telling us it won't begin for ten years. We've heard that before. Asking for approval ten years in advance of construction is a way of minimizing resistance. Don't fall for it.

Senator Hutson wields so much influence that when his massive Silverleaf project was sent to the state for review, St. Johns County took his company's side against the State of Florida! The state issued a letter calling the Silverleaf submittal process "improper" and requested a re-submittal. The state said the Silverleaf proposed development "exceeds statewide standards and guidelines." The commissioners voted on the development and approved it over the state's objections. But there's good news....

The state rejected the county's approval. Residents will have a rare second chance to oppose this huge development proposal.

Senator Hutson strives to eliminate anything and anyone that stands in the way of development. In 2020, Hutson's companies donated $10,000 to the $42,000 war chest that local developers raised to try to stop Save Guana Now co-founder Nicole Crosby's election to the St.Johns Soil and Water Conservation District. After she won the seat, Hutson took the unprecedented measure of sponsoring a bill to abolish all Soil and Water Conservation Districts in Florida. (These are unpaid positions.) If Hutson's bill passes, Florida will be the only state in the entire U.S. to have no Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Despite obvious conflicts of interest, Hutson also sponsored pro-developer/builder bills this session including SB 620 and SB736

We must use our voices and our voting power to slow down development and take back our government from the developers. 

While our neighboring Clay County has issued a partial moratorium on development, St. Johns County is full steam ahead. The huge increase in population we've already experienced adds traffic to our roads with sometimes deadly results. 2020 saw a 32% increase in crashes on our county's roads compared to the previous year, according to the Sheriff's Office.

We hope to see you January 25th at the county auditorium, fighting for St. Johns County, and wearing green. Mark the date, and please forward this email to friends and neighbors county-wide.
Nicole Crosby and Gary Coulliette
Co-founders, Save Guana Now
Save Guana Now on Facebook
Save Guana Now | P.O. Box 2111Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32004

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