Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

What is the plan for the fenced lot in Jax Beach?

By meerna Jun12,2024

Editor’s Note: This post appears as a partnership between News4JAX and Jacksonville Today. Never miss an answer. Sign up for the free Jacksonville Today newsletter.

Q: Jacksonville today reader Jennifer S. wants to know when Jacksonville Beach will finally do something about the vacant lot she thinks is bothering her.

The fenced lot is located in the 500 block of 1st Street North, between the dunes and Lynch’s Irish Pub.

“It’s basically the center of our beaches and has been an eyesore for several years,” says Jennifer. “We asked the people at the building department and they don’t seem to have any answers. Is there a plan for this property? I think that’s what most of the community here on the beach and surrounding communities want to know at this point.

“Is there a plan for this property?”

A: The good news: the city says the area will soon be converted back to a public parking lot with some improvements.

Jacksonville Beach spokesman Jacob Board says the vacant lot dates back to 2016, when Hurricane Matthew destroyed part of the nearby 500-foot fishing pier in Jacksonville Beach, and a year later, Hurricane Irma caused even more damage.

When repair work began on the damaged pier, part of the parking lot was fenced off and was initially used to store construction equipment and supplies for the reconstruction of the pier in 2019–2022. When the pier reopened in spring 2022, there were more uses for the fenced-in area, but not for public parking, Board says.

The Board alleges that Springhill Suites Jacksonville Beach used the space for its own construction purposes. Subsequently, the Starbucks at Springhill Suites also used the area to store equipment and supplies, he says.

“The long-term use of this space for various construction activities resulted from the extensive permitting process required for the pier parking project,” Board says. “This project had to go through multiple rounds of approvals from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection given its proximity to the ocean and sea turtle nesting areas.”

With permission in place, work on transforming the plot should begin within the next few months.

Board says the fenced portion will get new signage, a redesigned entrance drive to the pier parking lot and newly landscaped areas on both sides of the driveway. “The entire project is intended to significantly improve the aesthetics of the pier parking lot.”

Improvements also will include relocating the dumpster enclosure, upgraded parking utilities, new bike racks and additional landscaping, he says.

Curious about something about Jax? Email your question to [email protected], and a reporter from Jacksonville Today may answer that question in a future story. Just type #ASKJAXTDY in the subject line. This post appears in partnership with Jacksonville Today. Never miss an answer. Sign up for the free Jacksonville Today newsletter.

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By meerna

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