WANTED: Public Feedback On Plans For Seven Amelia Island Beach Parks

See preliminary design plans, give input on Amelia Island’s beach parks: (1) North Beach, (2) Main Beach (3) Seaside Park, (4) Peters Point, (5) Scott Rd. access, (6) Burney Park & (7) South end access.

“Beach Harmonization Project” Open House Events Scheduled For Tues., July 19, 2022

The Amelia Island Beach Park Harmonization team – under the direction of the Nassau County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) and the Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau (AICVB) – is hosting two open house events to gather public input for its Amelia Island beach parks “branding harmonization project.” Both will be held on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, one in Fernandina Beach at the Atlantic Ave. Rec Center, the other at American Beach (see further details below).

EDSA Leading The Beach Project

According to a July 12, 2022 news release, EDSA, a planning and urban design firm with more than 60 years of experience, is leading the beach parks branding harmonization project.

This project seeks to harmonize and enhance the visitor experience at Amelia Island’s seven main beach parks, aiming to modernize and better equip these parks to serve local communities as well as visitors.

Peters Point Beach Access, Nassau County, Florida on Amelia Island. Photo by AmeliaIslandLiving.com (summer 2022).
Peters Point Beach, Nassau County, Florida on Amelia Island
Ten-Year Horizon For Implementation

The Nassau County Board of Commissioners (BOCC) entered into an agreement (Contract No. CM3018) with EDSA last fall in 2021 to conduct a detailed analysis of Amelia Island’s seven beach parks. At a BOCC meeting held a couple of months ago (May 18, 2022), the agenda indicated “efforts contained in the analysis will be based on a 10-year horizon towards implementation and completion of BOCC initiatives and programs.”

During the May 18, 2022 meeting, EDSA gave a presentation on the beach project. Slides were shown of each beach park/access point analyzed, noting existing amenities plus “strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.” (For example, below is the slide/board of Peters Point Park).

Peters Point Beach Park exhibit board, EDSA presentation, Nassau County Board of Commissioners.
Peters Point Beach Park, EDSA Presentation

The community open house evening will show the preliminary conceptual plans for the seven beach parks within the project scope: Fernandina’s Main Beach Park, Seaside Beach Park, and North Beach Park; as well as Nassau County’s Peters Point Beach Park, Scott Road beach access, Burney Beach Park (at American Beach), and the south end’s beach access, dune walk #110.

Beach sunrise Burney Park, American Beach. Photo by Amelia Island Living magazine.
Sunrise at Burney Park, American Beach. Nassau County, Florida
According to the news release:

The events do not include a formal presentation. Instead the events will exhibit all park plans on large boards with the ability to leave comments verbally or in written form.

Watch Online Video, EDSA Presentation

The public can, however, go online to view the recorded 20-minute EDSA presentation video from a Nassau County workshop held May 18, 2022.

Open House At Rec Center 6 To 8 PM

The evening “Open House” on July 19, 2022 is from 6-8 p.m. at the Atlantic Recreation Center (2500 Atlantic Avenue). The same day, the American Beach community is invited to attend the presentation of the Burney Beach Park preliminary plan from 3-4 p.m. at the American Beach Community Center (1600 Julia Street). All Nassau County residents are welcome to stop by either of the meetings during the designated times. There will be team members on hand to answer any questions related to the proposed park designs.

Another Feedback Option Online — Utilize Miro Board

For those that cannot attend in-person, the beach boards will be posted digitally to EDSA’s Miro site on July 20th, 2022. Comments, questions, and concerns can be recorded digitally by leaving virtual sticky notes.

Amelia Island Beach Survey Deadline Extended To July 31, 2022

Also, there’s still time to take the beach harmonization online survey. The survey participation deadline has been extended to July 31, 2022, see the online survey at MemoriesMaking.com.

Beach Driving Not Part Of Harmonization Project

Note that the Beach Park Harmonization project does not address beach driving. Beach driving has been and likely will remain one of the most controversial local issues at Amelia Island’s beachfront. Many favor beach driving/parking in the sand while others oppose vehicles on the beach.

Entering Nassau County’s beachfront parks driving a vehicle became a reserved privilege for Nassau County, Florida residents per County Ordinance 2020-31 (adopted in October 2020). A few exceptions are non-residents who own property here (i.e., taxpayers), active military members and the disabled. Nassau County Ordinance 2020-31 describes the need for restricting beach driving. “The current population, projected growth and limited space for driving and parking on the beach creates issues for safe local vehicular use of the beaches and warrants the restrictions to Nassau County residents and property owners…”