1/25/23 @ 4:40 p.m. - The Board of County Commissioners has received an Award of Excellence for Culture and Historic Preservation for the American Beach Community Master Plan. Since 2018, the County has worked hard to design a plan to enhance the community while maintaining its unique history and culture. The scope of work included extensive community engagement including public meetings with property owners, public workshops, and interviews with stakeholders. The needs and priorities identified through the outreach efforts were then used to develop the final master plan which includes protection of the beach and dunes, as well as the history of the community. The plan also includes enhancements for the community such as water/sewer lines, street lighting, paved streets and sidewalks, and preservation of historic structures such as the Evans Rendezvous.
Seeing all the efforts put forth, the Northeast Florida Regional Council selected the County for this prestigious award. The Board was then recognized at their Awards Luncheon held on January 5, 2023. The Northeast Florida Regional Council’s Chief Executive Officer, Beth Payne, stated, “The Northeast Florida Regional Council is happy to recognize Nassau County’s outstanding efforts to preserve a piece of Northeast Florida history. American Beach is one of our area’s hidden gems and it is the Council’s pleasure to recognize the work done by the County, it’s staff and volunteers to continually engage the residents of American Beach and work together to safeguard the cultural history, as well as the future of the American Beach community."
Interim Planning Director/Economic Resources Coordinator, Holly Coyle, stated, “The American Beach Master Plan captures the essence of American Beach by protecting the sense of place, honoring the rich cultural heritage of the community, and authentically telling the story of American Beach through the built and natural environment. Through an extensive public engagement process, the community identified its needs and priorities and created a list of recommendations to achieve their final vision. Among those recommendations were the installation of public water and sanitary sewer; the paving and resurfacing of roadways; re-evaluation of The Crossroads; and the expansion of the A. L. Lewis Museum. We are honored to have been selected for this award and look forward to bringing this initiative to fruition.”
To view the Northeast Florida Regional Council's Press Release regarding the 2023 Awards, please click here.
If you have any questions related to the American Beach Community Master Plan, please visit https://www.nassaucountyfl.com/990/American-Beach-Neighborhood-Planning or contact the Planning Department at (904) 530-6300.
Public Information Office
The City of Fernandina Beach has received its 21st year of national recognition as a Tree City USA community by the Arbor Day Foundation. This represents the City’s continued commitment to honoring community forestry. Communities achieve Tree City USA status by meeting four core standards of sound urban forestry management: maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry, and celebrating Arbor Day.
In celebration of Florida’s Arbor Day, on Friday, January 20, 2023, members of the City’s Planning & Conservation staff, the Nassau County staff of the Florida Forest Service, the City’s Parks and Recreation Department, and Southern Tree will hold a small tree planting event at Sunrise Park located at 1900 Sunrise Dr. The Florida Forest Service donated funding to help pay for the trees. For additional information or questions regarding trees within the City, please contact the City’s Planning & Conservation Deputy Director, Kelly N. Gibson, AICP at 904-310-3480 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Encourages Floridians to Participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s National Broadband Map Challenge Process
Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) encourages Floridians to participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) National Broadband Map challenge process to help verify broadband Internet access data within unserved and underserved areas in Florida. The accuracy of FCC’s map is essential to future broadband Internet funding for the state of Florida through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program opening in 2023.
Floridians are encouraged to visit the FCC National Broadband Map and enter their home or business address to view a summary of the FCC’s broadband Internet data for that location. The map allows Floridians to submit challenges related to address locations, available service providers, and available service speeds, providing beneficial insight into Florida’s most unserved and underserved areas. Challenges received by January 13, 2023, will be prioritized and will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis.
Floridians without a fixed (wired) or mobile broadband connection are especially encouraged to participate. A mobile phone, a friend or family member’s computer, or a public access site (a school, community center, or public library) can be used to enter a home address, review, and if needed, challenge the FCC’s national broadband map.
For additional information on the Florida Office of Broadband, visit www.FloridaJobs.org/Broadband.
Additional Broadband Internet Expansion Efforts
1/3/23 @ 2:20 p.m. - Flooding along Thomas Creek has been an area of concern for many years. Previous efforts to mitigate those concerns have been unsuccessful so the County sought assistance from the Army Corps of Engineers on a possible solution.
In 2019, a Planning Assistance to States (PAS) study was conducted by the Army Corps of Engineers and Nassau County staff which included extensive modeling with multiple scenarios. The PAS Study findings were presented to and adopted by the Board of County Commissioners on June 13, 2022, with direction to Staff to create an implementation for the Study's recommendations.
The results of the Study were also presented at a Community Meeting held the evening of Friday, August 5, 2022, at the Callahan County Building. In addition to the results of the study being introduced, there were discussions about grant opportunities available to assist residents including modifications to existing homes and potential buyouts.
Following Board direction, the Stormwater and Drainage Department began working on an Implementation Plan while simultaneously taking other steps to improve drainage in the area. Examples include working with CSX Railroad to clear blockages near the railroad bridge; adding a stream gauge to Thomas Creek to monitor stream levels and rain; conducting home visits to meet with residents about issues relevant to their properties; issuing work orders to have the road department make various drainage improvements; and removal of vegetation near US 1 to make the creek more navigable.
At the December 21, 2022 Board of County Commissioners meeting, Ms. Peay presented the draft Thomas Creek Implementation Plan which includes information on land acquisitions and modifications to home utilizing a combination of grant funding and County funding. Anyone interested in learning more can watch on the Clerk's website by clicking here. The presentation is listed under Tab J. Further discussion of the draft Thomas Creek Implementation Plan will be held during the 2023 Winter Strategic Planning Sessions being held February 16 - February 17, 2023.
12/16/22 @ 10:30 a.m. - At the Monday, December 12th meeting, Senior Planner, Josh Macbeth, provided an update to the Board of County Commissioners regarding the State Road 200/A1A Corridor Master Plan. This Plan was the result of a two-year intensive planning effort that included an in-depth analysis of history, culture, growth trends, land uses, economic development, visual quality, and environmental impacts along the SR200 corridor. The Plan was prepared in consultation with the Community Services Group, a division of GAI Consultants.
The purpose and intent of the plan was to craft a vision for the corridor as a multi-functional, safe, and sustainable community in which people can live, work, and play. The concepts in the SR200/A1A Corridor Master Plan emerged with the support of Nassau County residents, property owners, business operators, and county officials. The plan charts a path toward the future that is livable, sustainable, and economically vital, and is guided by five planning priorities:
Maintain, enhance, and extend the natural environment by creating opportunities for residents to access and enjoy Florida’s unique natural areas.
Help stage vibrant shopping center and neighborhood growth through development that creates places for people, supports local businesses and generates additional jobs, encourages an active lifestyle, and comprises a mix of housing options.
Improve linkages between neighborhoods, shopping centers, and amenities through a network of slow, safe, and livable primary and secondary streets, trails, bike paths, and pedestrian infrastructure.
Build on heritage while establishing new cultural assets that celebrate community creativity and identity in the public realm.
Prepare for a future by looking ahead to build a resilient community in the face of growing climate concern and technological advancements.
The SR200/A1A Corridor Master Plan was adopted by the Board of County Commissioners on December 13, 2021, via Resolution No. 2021-214. Per the Resolution, staff was to provide an update to the Board with 12 months of adoption regarding amendments to the Comprehensive Plan and the Land Development Code that are necessary for implementation of the Plan. The adopted Plan can be located on the County's website.
To view the presentation, please click here.
Public Information Officer
12/5/22 @ 3:50 p.m. - On Saturday, December 3rd, Nassau County Parks & Recreation hosted the County's first ceremonial Christmas Tree Lighting. Approximately 200 people were in attendance for the event which began with holiday music by the Nassau Community Band. At approximately 6:50 p.m., Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived on one of Nassau County's fire trucks with "Here Comes Santa Claus" playing over the loud speaker while children lined up along the sidewalk waiting trying to catch a glimpse of him. The children were so excited and many of them ran to Santa as soon as he exited the fire truck and gave him a great big hug! Santa and Ms. Claus then spent just over an hour taking photos in front the Christmas tree with the children. The event also featured a food truck, coffee vendor and face painting, as well as a showing of the movie "Elf" on our giant movie screen.
If you weren't able to attend the ceremony, you can still see the tree as it is displayed in front of the Robert M. Foster Justice Center located at 76346 Veterans Way in Yulee (off William Burgess Blvd) until after the holiday.
Thank you for everyone who was in attendance. We hope that you had a great time! We anticipate that this will become an annual event and hope to add vendors and other activities as the event continues to grow.
Public Information Officer
12/1/22 @ 10:00 a.m.
Nassau County has received a State-wide Award of Merit in the Neighborhood Planning category from the American Planning Association, Florida Chapter for its Timber to Tides Initiative [State Road 200/A1A Corridor Master Plan]. This is now the 2nd State-wide award and 3rd overall award the County has received for the Initiative.
The Timber to Tides Initiative is the culmination of extensive public engagement and application of best practices to re-envision what the State Road 200/A1A Corridor from Police Lodge Road to the Amelia River has the potential to become over the coming decades and then produce a realistic, obtainable, and incremental Action Plan that sets the community on an evolutionary course to reach their defined vision and goals. The results were not only uplifting and transformational, they were reasonable and obtainable!
The Timber to Tides Initiative is centered on five planning priorities:
Melissa Zornitta, the American Planning Association Florida Project Awards Chair stated, “The Master Plan was a complete envisioning of a new future for this important community corridor; the committee was impressed by the ability to overcome the challenges of Covid-19 in the community outreach and the thorough approach to addressing future issues along the corridor such as view sheds, multi-modal transportation and the need for mixed use nodes.”
Taco Pope, County Manager and life-long resident stated, “This is our home, this where we, as a collective community, have chosen to invest our time, effort, and resources to build a life. Nassau County is what we, as a collective community, make it. We have an opportunity to define a resilient, sustainable, and people-centric future that prioritizes quality-of-life and quality-of-place. While it may seem a daunting task, a collective community moving in a unified direction can be the catalyst for generational change. The future is bright in Nassau.”
The Board of County Commissioner adopted the Timber to Tides Initiative [State Road 200/A1A Corridor Master Plan] vision + planning priorities document and action plan on December 13, 2021 and directed County to staff to move forward with implementation. The referenced document can be found at https://bit.ly/SR200MasterPlan.
Public Information Officer
Governor Ron DeSantis Awards $5.5 Million for Infrastructure in Jacksonville through the Florida Job Growth Grant
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis awarded $5.5 million to the City of Jacksonville through the Governor’s Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to construct a rail spur for the mega site at the Cecil Commerce Center, a 600-acre industrial park that will support the manufacturing and logistics industries. The rail spur will connect the main rail line with the industrial park, allowing the city to attract businesses to the mega site to fuel economic growth. The project is expected to create 500 new jobs and will support new business development in the region.
“This new rail track will make an inaccessible area of the industrial park accessible for businesses in important sectors like manufacturing and attract new businesses to Jacksonville from across the country,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “This award is an example of the smart investments we’re making in Florida’s communities to strengthen local economies and expand job opportunities.”
“DEO is proud to stand with Governor DeSantis to announce another investment in Floridians and businesses. Today’s award brings the total to $66.5 million in strategic investments through the Governor’s Job Growth Grant Fund this year alone,” said Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary Dane Eagle. “The Cecil Commerce Center project will go a long way for the region, and I look forward to the meaningful opportunities it will create for Floridians and businesses in the Jacksonville area.”
“EFI is very appreciative of Governor DeSantis for his support of public infrastructure and workforce through the Job Growth Grant Fund,” said Enterprise Florida Deputy Secretary Laura DiBella. “This rail spur will have a massive benefit to the Cecil Commerce Center and Northeast Florida as a whole, unlocking a strategic mega site with tremendous job potential. EFI looks forward to working with the City of Jacksonville and all the partners involved to ensure the greatest economic impact is received due to this award.”
“Investing in projects like this rail spur to build upon Florida’s strong transportation network helps to ensure resiliency, supports supply chain operations, and enhances economic growth,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared W. Perdue, P.E . “This is yet another example under Governor DeSantis’ leadership of working with partners to develop projects that offer major benefits to the local community, the region, and the state as a whole.”
“The City of Jacksonville is grateful to Governor DeSantis for this funding and we look forward to the expansion,” said Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry. “Jacksonville is experiencing record growth and this will ensure we continue to attract new business and potential workforce.”
Last year, Governor DeSantis awarded $6 million through the Job Growth Grant Fund to support the construction of nearly two miles of roadway and extend utilities to provide access to underdeveloped property on the east side of Cecil Airport and Spaceport. This project was designed to attract new aerospace and commercial space companies to the area.
The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund is an economic development program designed to promote public infrastructure and workforce training across the state. Proposals are reviewed by DEO and Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI), and are chosen by Governor DeSantis to meet the demands for workforce training or infrastructure needs in communities around the state.
DEO and EFI are currently accepting proposals until all funding has been awarded. For more information, visit www.FloridaJobs.org/JobGrowth.
11/28/22 @ 4:30 p.m. - Attached is the October 2022 edition of the Board of County Commissioner's monthly newsletter. his monthly publication features a variety of information related to projects and activities for the departments under the Board. It also includes information about road projects, special events, adopted policies and procedures, budget discussions, and more! online.flipbuilder.com/sabsrob/urcp/.
Public Information Officer
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Extends Application Deadline for the Broadband Opportunity Program
Tallahassee, FL – Today, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced that the deadline to apply for funding through the Broadband Opportunity Program has been extended to December 9, 2022. This extension will accommodate communities impacted by recent hurricanes by providing additional time to apply and will not impact the state’s timeline to issue awards.
$400 million in total is available through the Broadband Opportunity Program and will be awarded through grants of up to $5 million. This program funds the installation and deployment of broadband Internet infrastructure in unserved Florida communities, providing valuable access to telehealth, economic, educational, and workforce development opportunities to offer a brighter future for all Floridians.
“The projects funded through the Broadband Opportunity Program will shape the future of broadband in Florida, and DEO is committed to helping eligible entities develop the strongest possible applications,” said DEO Secretary Dane Eagle. “I strongly encourage community leaders to apply for this funding and connect with DEO’s Office of Broadband for technical assistance.”
DEO recently hosted a Statewide Technical Assistance Webinar, available here, and a Rural Technical Assistance Webinar, available here, to provide information on the Broadband Opportunity Program's timeline, application, funding, and eligibility, and addressed remaining questions at the end of the presentation.
DEO staff are available to provide support throughout the application process. Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend all scheduled webinars and trainings provided by DEO. Applicants can find current information about the Broadband Opportunity Program www.FloridaJobs.org/Broadband. Questions regarding the program should be sent to Broadband@DEO.MyFlorida.com.
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