This "bed and breakfast", project name Vilano Dunes, was proposed by a local developer who has also built numerous unwanted short term rentals in the North Beach neighborhood. The parcel is zoned Residential/Commercial which allows for a B&B. The site (0.99 acres) is located at the corner of A1A and 12th Street. The applicant requested to construct between 2-4 separate buildings and had submitted this for review in past design review meetings. The most recent plan depicted two buildings with space to add two more to the site
North Beach residents and the NBCA raised several concerns at the North Coast Design Review Board meeting that the architectural renderings did not reflect the county guidance document description of a B&B, nor the national description of such an establishment.
The renderings show 2 buildings comprised of 3 floors with 6 units (possibly 7 but not visible on the rendering). The engineering site plan listed the buildings at 3800 sq.ft. per floor, but only two floors. This data suggests that rooms in the units would be approximately 1600 (7 units)-1900 (6 units) sq.ft.. There is a vast difference in room size between a traditional B&B room (national average 300-500 sq.ft.) and the proposed 1600-1900 sq.ft.. The latter proposed size is more consistent with a motel/hotel, condominiums or apartments and thus raised concerns about true intent of the development and the seeming direct attempts at concealment of this truth.
NBCA had been told that traffic and safety studies had been reviewed and passed. . The citizens were especially concerned about this as the entry and exit from the complex would be onto Twelvth street only. This raises significant issues about traffic congestion, increased risk of accidents involving cars, children on bikes and pedestrians crossing A1A to the beach. However, when one of our members requested those documents from the county they were told there was no traffic analysis.
The structure, as proposed, was denied by the North Coastal Design Review Board on April 22, 2021, but the owner/developer, appealed to the County Commission to overturn the decision. On May 13, members of the NBCA met with Commissioner Dean and Growth Department staff. We again presented our concern about the size of the "B&B" and the lack of consistent information from the developer, the grade heights of the parcels, which include large dunes, the grade changes required to construct two large structures, and/or the review of the impact of these changes and others on the surrounding streets that have flooded twice since 2016, had not been addressed in the plan.
The applicant decided not to pursue the appeal and on June 3, 2021, the denial order was issued. The applications have been administratively CLOSED and no appeal has since been filed.
St. Johns County zoning definition of a bed & breakfast establishment does not specify total square footage, room size, or any other descriptive information except for the maximum of 10 rooms. We proposed an expanded definition to conform to the national average (300 – 500 sq. ft.) and includes a list of standards, common to licensed bed & breakfast establishments in Florida and submitted it to the Planning Division.
The project was disapproved due non-conformance with the North Coastal Overlay Section 3.09 of the St. Johns County Land Development Code. It does not comply with Section 3.09 of the St. Johns County Land Development Code for the proposed two - 7 room “bed & breakfast” structures on several counts (over 25 were listed).
Furthermore, there was conflicting data in the applicant’s packet including the square footage of each building, e.g., 7600 square feet (two floors) on the site plan vs. 11,400 square feet on the architectural rendering which shows three floors. This was a commercial enterprise
located at the “to be determined address” on State Road A1A known as the Coastal Highway (between 11th and 12th streets).