County Takes Bold Steps to Ensure Developer Accountability for CR 210 East Road Construction

In response to concerns raised during the recent groundbreaking of the $15 million widening of CR 210, St. Johns County residents have been questioning the level of accountability held by the developer. To address these inquiries, it is crucial to highlight the proactive measures taken by the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) to ensure the Beachwalk developer fulfills its obligations for the widening of the designated road section.

On December 5, 2023, the BOCC approved a Memorandum of Understanding compelling Twin Creeks Development Associates, the Beachwalk Developer, to bear the costs associated with widening CR 210 from the western boundary of the Beach Walk Community to C.E. Wilson Road. This transformation from two lanes to four lanes is an integral part of the ongoing project.

BOCC Chair and District 2 Commissioner Sarah Arnold emphasized the unwavering commitment to cost control in transportation projects, stating, “We, as a board, do not negotiate when it comes to the construction costs for transportation projects. It is our responsibility to hold developers accountable, ensuring that the transportation impact of these developments is adequately mitigated.”

Arnold added, “The current St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners is resolute in making sure every developer bears the cost of its proportionate share of new roads, widening of existing roads, and improvements to our transportation network. We are purposeful and prudent in preserving our taxpayers’ dollars, and not a single penny will be allowed to pay for developers’ road projects under our watch, even if it means taking legal action. We are currently engaged in litigation with a developer who has failed to fulfill their road obligation, and no houses will be allowed to be constructed until compliance is met.”

Greg Caldwell, St. Johns County Director of Public Works, underscored the commitment to responsible fiscal management, stating, “We have over $100 million in transportation projects currently under contract for construction, and we ensure not a single dollar of our taxpayers’ funds subsidizes developers. The majority of these costs are funded by developers.”

An example highlighted by Arnold is the CR 210 West project, where developer contributions exceeded $24 million for construction costs, supplemented by Transportation Impact fees.

Arnold concluded by emphasizing the BOCC’s commitment to ensure thorough approval mechanisms for transportation improvements. For instance, a developer was mandated to pre-pay road impact fees and cover their proportionate share before receiving development plan approval, ensuring 100% funding for projects like the Longleaf Pine Parkway widening from Roberts Road to Veteran Parkway.