JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Vilano Beach was one of only three beaches in St. Johns County where beach driving was allowed. That was until Hurricane Matthew hit in October 2016.
Since the, except for one month in 2017, Vilano Beach has been closed to vehicles since.
Because the public paid to drive on the beach, it was a source of revenue to St. Johns County. Recent revenues:
- 2013: $120,000
- 2014: $181,000
- 2015: $172,000
- 2016: $109,000, through Oct. 6
- 2017: $11,000 from March 1 to April 2. The county then closed the beach to driving again because the sand was too soft and vehicles were getting stuck.
- 2018: No revenue
There is no timetable for Vilano Beach to be renourished, so there will be no beach driving for the foreseeable future.
The lack of vehicle access to the beach has also created a problem for residents who live near the main access point. Since people can’t drive onto the beach, they’re parking on the streets of the Porpoise Point neighborhoods.