ETM provided entitlement planning for this project; working closely with Gate Petroleum, the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, Rogers Towers, as well as architects Cooper Carry and ELM to draft the Master Development Plan for the Planned Unit Development.
By a vote of 4-1, the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners approved a Planned Unit Development on Nov. 7 proposed for the renovation and expansion of the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club and The Lodge & Club in Ponte Vedra Beach.
Commissioners Roy Alaimo, Sarah Arnold, Henry Dean and commission Chair Christian Whitehurst voted in favor of the PUD. Commissioner Krista Joseph voted to deny the PUD.
The vote came after the commission heard presentations from Gate’s attorney, Ellen Avery-Smith with Rogers Towers, and also people whose nearby property will be directly affected by the proposed development and were against the proposal.
Forty-four people spoke during the public comment period, with 32 speaking in support of the proposal.
“We appreciate the 4-1 vote by the St. Johns County Board of Commissioners to approve the PUD. We are grateful for the countless hours spent by the commissioners, advisory board members and members of the Ponte Vedra community to review and provide feedback and input on the PUD application,” Misty Skipper, spokeswoman for Gate Petroleum, owners of the resort, said in an email after the vote.
“We look forward to our continued stewardship of these iconic properties through the next 100 years,” she said.
The PUD allows Gate to begin a 30-year master plan to renovate and expand the facilities.
Speaking to the commission at the beginning of the Nov. 7 public hearing, Gate Petroleum President John Peyton said his father, Herb Peyton, purchased property in 1985 from Stockton, Whatley Davin Co.
He said the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club will soon mark its 100th anniversary. The changes made possible by approval of the PUD will allow the resort to be more resilient in terms of climate change and sea level rise, improve the aging facilities to make the resort more competitive and provide solutions for more parking at the property.
Peyton said the plan presented for approval was the result of five years of planning and dozens of open houses and town hall meetings.
“We have listened to the community. It is not a perfect plan. There is no perfect plan. Land use in St. Johns County is complicated, but let’s build something our children and our children’s children can enjoy for the next 100 years,” Peyton said.
Under the plan, expected to be completed in six phases over a 30-year period, the oceanfront Ponte Vedra Inn & Club can expand to up to 349 rooms and 595,000 square feet of restaurant, bar and indoor recreation space.
The Lodge & Club on the west side of Ponte Vedra Boulevard across from the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club can expand to up to 86 rooms and 70,000 square feet of restaurant, bar and indoor recreation space.
The resorts currently have 328 rooms, according to the PUD application.
The existing square footage, excluding hotel rooms, within the proposed PUD parcels for the Ponte Vedra Inn is 130,433 square feet and The Lodge at 10,439 square feet according to the St. Johns County property records, the application states.
The plan approved also includes a parking garage and a new Surf Club and fitness center.