St. Johns County
Saving Special Places • Building Better Communities
St. Johns County 2070
Planning Today for a Better Tomorrow: St. Johns County in 2070
As the third fastest growing county in the state, St. Johns County is experiencing its fair share of growing pains. Unsustainable growth threatens our environmental resources, our agricultural heritage, and our way of life. On November 20 and 21, 2019 the Matanzas Bay Riverkeeper, St. Johns County Audubon and others joined with 1000 Friends of Florida for a discussion on growth projections for the county well as potential tools to ensure a more sustainable future. The groups hosted two community workshops in different areas of St. Johns County to present the growth projections for the county as well as gather resident feedback. Then a presentation is being made to St. Johns County County Commission and staff including the results of the SJC 2070 study, smart growth policy tools and recommendations, and feedback gathered from the resident workshops. As St. Johns County grows in population, one of the biggest challenges is to ensure sufficient land and water to meet the needs of people, agriculture, and the environment.
St. Johns County 2070 Findings
St. Johns has been one of the fastest growing counties in the United States over the past 15 years, roughly doubling its population. As revealed in the Florida 2070 and Water 2070 report projections it also has very sprawling development patterns, making the impacts of this growth even more severe even with a modest decrease in density. Due to the combination of rapid population growth and sprawling development patterns projections for future growth and development, derived from the Florida 2070 and Water 2070 reports, if current patterns of development continue the developed area of the county is on track to expand from 19% in 2010 to 69% by 2070 as population expands from less than 200,000 to nearly 600,000. Development-related water demand in the county is on track to surge by more than 200% from 2010 to 2070. As the 2070 maps reveal, aggressive change in the patterns of development is clearly needed if the county’s natural lands and waters are to be adequately protected from the impacts of growth.