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How Is Our Quality Of Life In St Augustine Beach

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Enjoying the beach and quality of life in St Augustine Beach. photo: 2015

The subject of quality of life at St Augustine Beach came up at the last SAB City Commission meeting on January 4th. According to the City Manager’s office, there are seven significant events in the area.  Those events are categorized by the number of people in attendance of 300 people or more. The major events included, The Diva Run, Beach Blast Off and the St Augustine Beach Civic Association “Music By The Sea” events, which are spread out over the summer.

The City Manager’s office noted that the impact is minimal, due to the fact that most of the events take place at the Pier Park. All except the Diva Run, which spills out into the city streets. “There is no issue regarding the quality of life,” stated Max Royal, SAB City Manager.

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Over 30,000 attend Beach Blast Off. photo 2015

Former Mayor Andrea Samuels expressed a concern regarding stressing the emergency services. As taxpayers, she wanted to make sure the residents would have access to those services when needed. “Talking to the chief, 4000 is the maximum limit we should reach,” stated Samuels. The TDC wanted to increase the limit but Samuels stated, “It is imperative that since we pay for the salaries, we should have the right to dictate.”

“We take seriously every event,” said Chief Hardwick, regarding the pressure on the police and emergency services. “With our quiet little city, the secret is out there…this is a beautiful area to come and visit.” Although some people complained about the number of police stationed at the pier for Beach Blast Off, according to the Chief, “Zero people went to jail during Beach Blast Off, out of 30,000 people.”

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Closing down the street during the Diva Run. photo 2015

The Diva Run was addressed numerous times during the discussion. With thousands in attendance and people flowing into the community, this has proven to be a great  stressor to the residents at the beach. With the Diva Run’s impacts on the traffic pattern, including street closures, one SAB resident was unable to attend church on a Sunday morning.

The Diva run is a for profit organization which pays for the services they use. “We do the best we can for the Diva Run,” stated Hardwick. “There are no hard feelings on me or my staff if they do or don’t come back next year.”

“We have come a long way,” stated one beach resident who lives on 15th Street. “Parking has become a problem, but it is mostly on weekends.” “There are many variables that dictate quality of life,” stated  Hardwick. Once again, the secret is out and we as residents have to live with that. “And the residents get to enjoy it,” stated the mayor and there is no denying that…we do get to enjoy it.