SAB NEWS April 2014


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 NEWS: April 28, 2014

Swinging, Eating & Racing at the 18th Annual Taste Of St Augustine

Taste of St Augustine 2014

Taste of St Augustine 

TOST winner 2

Salt Water Cowboys

Thousand of food lovers converged at the St Augustine Amphitheater Saturday April 26th for the 18th Annual Taste of St Augustine. This annual event was a community benefit for EPIC Behavioral Health Services. Thirty of St Augustine’s favorite restaurants served samples of their signature dishes as they competed for the prestigious TOStA ( Taste of St Augustine) award. Dishes such as La Cocino’s elegant crusted flounder served over purple mashed potatoes, Gypsy Cab’s flavorful chicken jambalaya and the hundred and hundreds of handmade crispy crab cakes from Saltwater Cowboys were offered to the crowd.

TOSA winner 1

Red Frog and McToads

To wet the whistle, Convive Coffee offered their bold fresh roasted coffee and the San Sebastian Winery served many different signature wines. For something to curb the sweet tooth, apple strusel, mini cupcake and my favorite-the savory, sticky baklava was looking mighty tasty and ready to pack on the pounds. Throughout the day and evening bands serenaded the crowds and with the temperatures in the high 70’s, many taste goers grabbed a tall, cool, frosty beer and danced to the music. A big congratulations goes to our own beach restaurants and Taste Of St Augustine winners : La Cocina International Restaurant for Best Upscale Taste, Redfrog & McToad’s Grub & Pub for Best Family Dining and the 2014 People’s Choice champion was Saltwater Cowboys.

Along with the TOStA was the 5th Annual Borland-Groover Clinic’s Race to the Taste 5k – Race for Recovery. Over 200 runners ran the course. The sport of running has proven to be a favorite for families and people of all ages. This years runners ranged in age from 5 years old to 76 years old . The overall male champion was St Augustine’s Stephen Lawrence. 35 year old Lawrence ran the course in 17:59 with a pace of 5:48 minute miles. The overall female champion was 49 year old Lura Readle Scarpitti. Lura had a time of 24:08 averaging 7:46 minute miles. The food, the music and most definitely the fun make this a favorite yearly event in St Augustine.

Land Clearing Has Begun For Ocean Cay

Ocean Cay Land Clearing

Ocean Cay Land Clearing

Ocean Cay clearing

Land Clearing

Land clearing has begun for the 122 new single family homes slated for the Ocean Cay Development between Pope Rd and W16th St on Mizell Rd. Located on Anastasia Island just outside the St Augustine Beach city limits in St Johns County, developer D.R. Horton, Inc of Jacksonville hope this new development will add more affordable housing on the island. According to Mike Roberson of St Johns County Planning Department, the Planning and Zoning Board approved the request to rezone the land from open rural to Planned Unit Development in February 2013. The 37.71 acres will have homes that will range in price from $150,000 to $200,000. It should increase the population in the area by 300 with roughly ¼ of those being school age children. With one egress in and out of the Ocean Cay Development located on 16th St, residents of Marsh Creek and The Commodores Club are concerned the traffic congestion will increase in the area. D.R. Horton, Inc has also developed the Samara Lakes Subdivision and Wood Lake Subdivision in St Johns County.

arbor day 2

Tree Give Away

Arbor Day Celebration At The Beach

People of all ages were on hand on April 25th at the St Augustine Beach City Hall to celebrate Arbor Day. The SAB Beautification Advisory Committee put on this event and included music, refreshments and information about the importance of trees. With Environmental Learning Stations located around the city hall complex, residents as well as students learned about the importance of recycling, nature and the ways trees contribute to a thriving community. In conjunction with Arbor Day, a poetry contest and a poster contest was held for students in the area. St Augustine Beach is a Tree City USA member. This group presents programs to educate the public on the value of tree resources and the importance of sustainable tree management. Trees were given away for people to plant and enjoy.


NEWS: April 21, 2014

Sunrise Service * Celebrating Easter At The Beach

Sunrise Service

Sunrise Easter Service

st anastasia communion mass

St Anastasia Catholic Church

sunrise service christian surfers

Christian Surfers

The cold, blustery weather could not keep people home this Easter Sunday. Hundreds of people braved the cold, wind and rain to celebrate Sunrise Service on Crescent Beach. People of all ages huddled under umbrellas, towels and blankets as they sang songs of praise and worship and listened to the message given by Dr David Beauchamp of Crescent Beach Baptist Church. The casual beach atmosphere welcomed families, joggers, bike riders and even the family pooch. Cars were parked on the beach as well as blocks past the 206 bridge. This annual event was well organized with many volunteers offering assistance with parking, set up, clean up and anything else the public would need.

Another Sunrise Easter Service was celebrated at 10th St and A1A Beach Blvd. The Christian Surfers of St Augustine joined together and listened to the message “What Difference Does Easter Really Make?” by Dean Plumlee. Families with babies in strollers and surfers in jeans and sweat shirts ignored the cold and rain and huddled under the tents enjoying a light breakfast and welcomed the hot coffee that was provided by the organization. According to Rylan a CS leader, many surfers are immensely close to nature and feel they connect spiritually when they are riding the waves. This international organization exists to connect every surfer to Jesus and spread the word of Christ. They meets at 6pm on Monday evening at their home base at 6505 A1A So. Everyone is welcome to join this casual group.

A more traditional Easter service was held at St Anastasia Catholic Church. Hundreds of people crowded the church to listen to the message given by Father Timothy Lindenfelser and to celebrate the Communion Mass. The standing room only crowd included families dressed in their Easter best. Little girls dressed in flowered dresses and Easter bonnets hugged their new stuffed bunnies. Little boys wearing suits and ties crawled on the floor and played with their new hot wheel cars while they all waited in anticipation for the Easter Egg Hunt that was to take place after mass. The church vestibule was full of “sugared up” kids running from one end to the other with parents doing the best they could to contain them. When mass was over the mad dash to the egg hunt began. Hundred of youngsters filled the field in search of the treasured eggs while Father Tim looked on like a proud Papa. And…this Easter Sunday, as the sun struggled to break through the clouds, the people of the St Augustine area gave thanks and celebrated the “Resurrection of the Lord” together in peace, joy and harmony.


What’s Up With The Old St Augustine Beachfront Resort?

beachfront hotel2

Beachfront Hotel

In January 2014 the St Augustine Beachfront Resort was sold for close to $10 million dollars to Key International, a Miami based real estate and development company known for high-end commercial and residential projects. The 160 room hotel, restaurant and the surrounding six acres of land which sits between Pope Rd and the St Johns County Pier Park is assessed at $2.5 million. Local owners Ana and Don Craven owned and operated the hotel for over 25 years. Built in 1974 on one of the most scenic sites in St Augustine Beach, many local people remember the up-scale Sheraton Inn, later Howard Johnson’s Hotel and finally the St Augustine Beachfront Resort. Like many businesses the beachfront hotel has had it’s ups and downs. In it’s prime the resort featured a conference center, poolside tiki bar and Papagallo’s Restaurant & Club. The Craven’s strove to make the resort family friendly by adding numerous activity areas including: volleyball courts, a game room and a large, multilevel water slide overlooking the ocean which proved to be an exciting activity for many families visiting the beach. Being so close to the ocean, at times Ana and Don struggled with keeping the ocean at bay. After storms flooded the first floor ocean wing of the hotel numerous times, the Federal Emergency Management Agency declared it a loss.

With Key International as the new owners, the city of SAB and the county have suggested working together to develop that particular entrance to the beach and the pier area. County, city and Key International staff have already met and walked the property together. According to County Administrator Michael Wanchick, the county owns Pope Road, the pier, fire station and six acres of the pier park area. The city of SAB owns A1A Beach Boulevard. Due to the fact that the county will eventually need to invest in the pier property with repairs and upgrades, both the city and the county staff agree that now would be a good opportunity to explore the option of working together with Key International on a joint project making sure the design and physical layout of the whole area be congruent. At present, no commitment has been made from Key International. Mayor Samuels’ concern is that the community events held at the pier are able to continue along with the availability of public parking and public space. Many local residents of SAB are insistent that the beach height restrictions are followed for any new building proposed for the area. Before any final decisions are made for the property, the public will have the opportunity for input at the required public hearings.

Regular scheduled commission meeting are held on the third Tuesday of the month at 7pm or you can watch a live stream of the meetings online or on cable TV Channel 2. Visit our government page: to learn more.


 NEWS: April 14, 2014

Running To Stop Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse

Betty Griffin House 5K Run & Walk

St Augustine Beach was the place to be for the Betty Griffin House 5K Run and Walk. People and families of all ages ran, walked or strolled down A1A Beach Blvd in support of the Betty Griffin House. Participants pushing a baby stroller or running along side their pooch were a common sight at this years race. The Betty Griffin House 5K is an annual fund raising event which helps to aid in the organization’s fight against domestic violence and sexual abuse. All of the funds raised go toward programs to help victims in St. Johns County. The supporters who raised over $100.00 were treated to a special “Friends of Betty Brunch and Wine Tasting” catered by Gypsy Cab Co. The SJC Pier Pavilion was transformed for this red carpet event and the venue was perfect. The amazing scenery and cool ocean breeze made a perfect day for all participants. The first place winner of the race was St Augustine’s own Justin Taylor. Justin, a 27 year old male, ran the race in a time of 16:33 minutes. He averaged 5:20 minutes a mile. The first place female winner was nine year old, Ani Veltcheva of Gainsville, Fl. Yes… you read right, nine years old! “Ani is a magnificent runner with a bright future ahead of her and someone to truly keep an eye on.” stated another runner.  Ani completed the race in 18:47 minutes with an average time of 6:03 minutes a mile. The oldest runner and role model for all the runners was 85 year old James Foran from St Augustine. With a smile on his face James crossed the finish line in just under 52 minutes.  He ran the race averaging 16 minute miles and he showed us all what can be accomplished when you stay in shape and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

It’s Official…Spring Break Has Arrived In SAB

spring break st augustine beach

Enjoying Spring Break 2014 in SAB

The snow birds have left and Spring Break is officially upon us. St Augustine Beach has been abuzz with people of all ages enjoying the beach and all the amenities that St Augustine Beach has to offer. Schools throughout Florida and the country have closed for their spring vacation and many people have left the cold and traveled south to enjoy the beaches of Florida. Instead of traveling home for vacation quite a few Flagler College, FSU and UF students have stayed to enjoy the beach and some R & R before finals. The volleyball courts at the pier park have been occupied everyday this month and the surfers are out in droves. With the water temperature  starting to warm up to the 70 degree mark, the winter wetsuits have been put away for the season and board shorts and bathing suits are finally making their first appearance. Pass Fiesta Falls Putt Putt Golf any night and you will see families enjoying the cool evenings playing a round of putt-putt golf. Another sign of warmer weather can be found at the ice cream shops in SAB.  They seems to be the place to go after dinner to indulge in a special treat. The SAB nightlife is starting to pick up and the acts at the St Augustine Amphitheatre are top notch this month with Dierks Bently, Darius Rucker and one of the worlds best guitarists ever, Carlos Santana playing to a sold out show April 27th. Many people agree that with all the things to see and do in St Augustine and the beach there is no need to go anywhere else to enjoy a vacation.


NEWS: April 8, 2014


SAB Will Soon Be In The “Salt Life Zone” With The Newest

Salt Life Food Shack Restaurant

Salt Life..#.Almost

The finishing touched are being completed at Salt Life Food Shack (April)

Step into the new Salt Life Food Shack Restaurant at SAB and you will be amazed at the quality of their work. Once inside you are welcomed with beautiful shades of teal and natural wood. The quality of the work is second to none and nary a detail has been missed. From the one thousand gallon salt water fish tank stocked with unique coral and breathtakingly beautiful fish, to the hand carved benches and tables it is proven to be a first class operation. So amazing is the Salt Life’s thousand gallon fish tank that Animal Planet will feature it on their highly rated show “Tanked.” With a seating capacity of over 200 and the eclectic menu of award winning dishes, people will surely come for miles just to experience the Salt Life Zone and you will soon see why. The ocean view from the top deck is so incredible you can see the miles and miles of unspoiled beaches for which St Augustine Beach is known. The owner, Jeff Jabot is a real down-to-earth guy and wants to do the best for this community and by the looks of it he already has! With an opening planned for the end of April Salt Life Food Shack has greatly  improved St Augustine Beach and brought it another positive step into the future. Visit: to learn more about Salt Life Food Shack.

Is It time For Outdoor Music In St Augustine Beach?

Coquina Beach Surf Club

Coquina Beach Surf Club

For businesses along A1A Beach Boulevard the need for the city to allow music outdoors is front and center. Many of the local restaurants have outdoor dining and would like to offer music to go along with their customer’s dining experience. The St Augustine Beach City Commission is in the process of re-examining the municipal code to allow outdoor music at businesses in St Augustine Beach. According to some commissioners, the code is outdated and needs to be re-addressed. There are inconsistencies between the sound decimal levels for the commercial area and the residential area. Because the residential area backs up to many businesses along A1A Beach Blvd the commission feels that it may be a controversial issue. In January the Coquina Beach Surf Club was denied a conditional use permit request to allow outdoor music at their establishment. During the April meeting the commission was asked to reconsider the request which prompted a discussion. With the revitalization of A1A Beach Boulevard the commission agreed that the codes need to be brought up to present day standards. The issue was sent to the St Augustine Beach Planning and Zoning Board to review and rewrite if necessary.

NEWS: April 1, 2014

Second Street Drainage Project Nearing Completion

SAB DrainageThe end of April is planned for the completion of the Second Street drainage project. Starting at 11th Street and continuing to C Street, the sewer pipes have been laid to clean out the “ muck and mire” in the retention ditches along Second St. The new drains will allow the drainage to flow to the lake at Lakeside Park and from there the water will flow to the water treatment plant and into the Inner Coastal Waterway. With the pipes laid and the water diverted, flooding in the area will improve as well as the mosquito problem. The new pipes will also assist in the drainage and water diversion for the two new hotels slated to be built in the area. According to the SAB 2014 budget, the budgeted cost in 2014 to complete the drainage project is $493,950. More information about the SAB budget can be found at: