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The Battle Between Ocean Ridge and the Live Oak Trees

Ocean Ridge plan

Ocean Ridge site plan.

Land Clearing continues on the new development off of 11th Street. The new development, Ocean Ridge, consists of a 23-acre wooded parcels that sits between 11th St and Mickler Rd. Owner Jay McGarvey, of McGarvey Residential Communities, plan to build over 70 homes, including a pond on the property.

Concerned citizens spoke up against the development at the April SAB City Commission meeting. The citizens sited concerns of drainage, traffic, wildlife and the loss of 200+ year old live oak trees. The development was originally submitted as a PUD by Jay McGarvey in 2006. At that time there were concerns about McGarvey’s plans which called for each house to have a separate garage with finished living space over it. McGarvey stated that the space was to be used for guests or a mother-in-law area, but many citizens believed the space above the garage would become rental apartments.

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Land clearing for Ocean Ridge on 11th St. photo: 2016

In 2006 the property was denied as a Planned Unit Development by the SAB Planning and Zoning Board and was upheld by the SAB City Commission. A specific land plan (not PUD) was resubmitted to the PZB and approved in 2006, finding it met with the city’s land development regulation. According to McGarvey, the land plan is right out of the zoning book. In 2008, due to the downturn in the market, an extension until 2018 was requested and approved.

McGarvey is the developer of Sea Colony, a high-end housing community which sits ocean front as well as Anastasia Dunes off of A1A Beach Blvd. McGarvey also developed Sea Grove, a single-family home development on the west side of A1A at A Street. McGarvey donated the property for the St. Augustine Beach Public Library which sits inside Sea Grove. According to past reports, the lots at Ocean Ridge are slated to sell for over $300,000 each.

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Roads being cut for Ocean Ridge. photo: 2016

With the clearing of the woods there is also a concern for the displacement of wildlife. A bobcat was spotted on the bike path between 11th St and 9th St. Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission suggests that, due to the displacement of wildlife, all food sources be removed and trash be put out on the day it is to be collected. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife office, “The bobcat is not in danger. It will find some new woods to live in.”