Author Topic: Will St. Johns Cty. Be On Par With Duval Cty. One Day?  (Read 792 times)

jaxlongtimer

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Will St. Johns Cty. Be On Par With Duval Cty. One Day?
« on: May 24, 2020, 11:41:44 PM »
Interesting population figures for the last decade here:  https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20200524/in-last-decade-jacksonville-grew-slower-than-other-florida-cities

Duval:  +92,127 (+10.6%)
St. Johns:  + 73,423 (+38.4%)

Doesn't take a genius to see St. John's could become to Duval what Broward County has become to Miami-Dade, a county of such size as to be considered a community independent from the other in many respects.

Interestingly, maybe the biggest driver of growth in St. Johns is its reputation for public schools.  Meanwhile, leadership in Duval contributes to the perception (not necessarily reality) that its schools are inferior by not supporting the bond issue to insure Duval schools are well maintained, just driving more middle class residents out of Duval and into surrounding counties.

For all of the Mayor, City Council and Chamber's talk about soliciting economic growth for Jacksonville, they have shot the City in the foot playing games with our schools.  Just another example of our continuing ability to pursue the wrong priorities time after time.

One day, at Jaguar's games, we might be yelling "St. Joooohhhhns!" with the Jags building a new stadium there  ;D.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2020, 11:48:03 PM by jaxlongtimer »

marcuscnelson

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Re: Will St. Johns Cty. Be On Par With Duval Cty. One Day?
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2020, 07:45:08 AM »
As someone sitting in St. Johns County as I write this, population parity is entirely possible. It's just unfortunate that more likely than not, it will come in the form of sprawling uncontrolled suburban development in a desperate attempt to keep taxes low that ultimately proves unsustainable in the long run. Just Silverleaf after Rivertown after Nocatee after Durbin after Julington.

The schools are definitely the growth driver, no one ever cites any other reason for coming here and the fact that the overwhelming majority of residents are either families with young children or retirees instead of any other demographic is evidence of that. My parents are just as guilty as anyone else. The irony, of course, is that the #3 priority of residents (after low taxes and school quality) is limiting development.

I can't imagine the Jags wanting to build a stadium down here. The consistent attitude I seem to find is that most people who live here would rather this be a bedroom community with K-12 schools and tourism forever instead of becoming anything.

Charles Hunter

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Re: Will St. Johns Cty. Be On Par With Duval Cty. One Day?
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2020, 08:29:37 AM »
What is going to happen when the "low taxes" and "good schools" dichotomy hits?  Migration to Flagler County? It's already a Daytona Beach 'burb. Cross the river to Putnam?  Hopefully, those "good schools" in St. Johns County will teach TANSTAAFL*?


* TANSTAAFL - "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch" popularized Robert Heinlein's The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress -
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an expression that describes the cost of decision-making and consumption. The expression conveys the idea that things appearing free always have a cost or that nothing in life is truly free.
From: Investopedia https://www.investopedia.com/terms/t/tanstaafl.asp

thelakelander

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Re: Will St. Johns Cty. Be On Par With Duval Cty. One Day?
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2020, 09:07:16 AM »
St Johns has historically been independent of Jax. Other than Jax sprawling into northern St. Johns, it still is. From that perspective, it already is Duval's version of Miami-Dade's Broward. Nevertheless, Miami-Dade continues to thrive as a cosmopolitan multi-cultural community. Duval's key challenge will be to do the same.
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jaxlongtimer

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Re: Will St. Johns Cty. Be On Par With Duval Cty. One Day?
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2020, 12:54:08 PM »
St Johns has historically been independent of Jax. Other than Jax sprawling into northern St. Johns, it still is. From that perspective, it already is Duval's version of Miami-Dade's Broward. Nevertheless, Miami-Dade continues to thrive as a cosmopolitan multi-cultural community. Duval's key challenge will be to do the same.

Understood.  I had in mind that Ft. Laurderdale/Broward County has its own substantial downtown/skyline, large scale cultural attractions, major airport, cruise and freight port, mass transit, distinct identity, major media, a large employment base of its own, corporate HQ's for multiple multi-billion dollar companies, etc. such that when people think of that area, they can do so without a moment's thought about Miami.  One exception might be major league sports.

I also note that Palm Beach County isn't exactly a slouch either.  Palm Beach + Broward is now greater than Miami-Dade.  And, with Broward in the middle, in some ways it may be becoming the epicenter for all of South Florida.  If some day we are a continuous metropolis from Jacksonville to Orlando to Tampa and Jacksonville to Miami, St. Johns may ultimately be better positioned, geographically, to be a future epicenter for Northeast Florida than Duval.

While in transition, for now, St. Johns remains more a suburb of Jacksonville, than not, with most working residents commuting to Duval.

Most importantly, it's about relative scale.  Broward appears to be about 80% of Miami-Dade's population while St. Johns appears to be about 28% of Duval.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2020, 09:16:51 PM by jaxlongtimer »

thelakelander

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Re: Will St. Johns Cty. Be On Par With Duval Cty. One Day?
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2020, 01:25:54 PM »
Definitely understand the pespective. I think the major difference would be that Broward and Palm Beach's principal cities were already established with decent skylines of their own and economic base and never actual suburbs of Miami-Dade from a commuting perspective. They've all expanded since WW2, to the point of where they've grown into one large urban area with three major central cores. Throughout time, they've always been similarly scaled to what they are today:

1960
935,047 - Miami-Dade
333,946 - Broward
228,106 - Palm Beach

2019
2,716,940 - Miami-Dade
1,952,778 - Broward
1,496,770 - Palm Beach


On the other hand, we have a pretty big gulf. You nailed it with the scale observation:

1960
455,411 - Duval
30,034 - St. Johns

2019
957,755 - Duval
264,672 - St. Johns

St. Johns is pretty small. There are 24 counties in Florida that are larger and not in danger of being surpassed by St. Johns despite their growth percentage. For St. Johns to be comparable to Palm Beach's scale to Miami-Dade, St. Johns would need to double in population while Duval remains completely stagnant or go into decline during that growth period. The realistic long term scenario, if Florida fills in (hopefully we avoid this), St. Johns will likely become another sprawling low density Florida suburb (they'd be swallowed by Jax's sprawl) because they don't have any areas zoned for a dense urban cluster to incrementally develop.

Btw, looking at the numbers by decade, it is pretty crazy how fast Miami-Dade caught and passed Duval:

1900
4,955 - Miami-Dade
39,733 - Duval

1920
42,753 - Miami-Dade
113,540 - Duval

1940
267,739 - Miami-Dade
210,143 - Duval

1960
935,047 - Miami-Dade
455,411 - Duval
« Last Edit: May 26, 2020, 01:36:17 PM by thelakelander »
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bl8jaxnative

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Re: Will St. Johns Cty. Be On Par With Duval Cty. One Day?
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2020, 02:57:19 PM »
Interestingly, maybe the biggest driver of growth in St. Johns is its reputation for public schools.

Schools are very important.

Having land that can be developed even more so.

thelakelander

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Re: Will St. Johns Cty. Be On Par With Duval Cty. One Day?
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2020, 07:41:52 PM »
The public schools located in areas of similar age and demographics in Duval are just as good and these areas are growing just as fast as Northern St Johns. I think this gets lost in St. Johns growth articles. Same goes for newer areas in Clay and Nassau.
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marcuscnelson

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Re: Will St. Johns Cty. Be On Par With Duval Cty. One Day?
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2020, 07:12:25 AM »
The realistic long term scenario, if Florida fills in (hopefully we avoid this), St. Johns will likely become another sprawling low density Florida suburb (they'd be swallowed by Jax's sprawl) because they don't have any areas zoned for a dense urban cluster to incrementally develop.

I think it's worth noting that no one who lives here seems to want this. It's unclear if a lot of people here want anything at all. I can't imagine anyone here supporting a dense urban cluster when just bringing a big box store results in comments like

Quote
Once Walmart committed (to Durbin Park) we were in trouble. Crime increases and other troubles coming our way. I don't shop at Walmart ever, it is not worth the aggravation to save a nickel an item.  I would much rather go to Publix and spend the extra 20 bucks a week to not spend an extra 30 minutes in the store waiting to be checked out, bag my own groceries, have people who want to help me when I can't find an item, and not have to worry about getting shot when leaving the store.

Of course, development will still happen, because some kind of strip mall anchored by a Publix gets approved for every sprawling residential development in the county, but anything other than that seems like it would end in residents screaming bloody murder.

Tacachale

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Re: Will St. Johns Cty. Be On Par With Duval Cty. One Day?
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2020, 12:09:57 PM »
The difference between St. Johns and Broward County is, as Ennis said, that Fort Lauderdale was already an established city when sprawl effectively united the two counties. St. Johns has St. Augustine, but even today there are only maybe 70,000 in the area of that town, and little potential of growth in the core area there. Meanwhile there are about 200,000 people in St. Johns County in the northern section. There's relatively little in the way of non-service job opportunities compared to the population size. The northern developments are almost exclusively bedroom communities for people who work in Duval and retail strips serving them. In addition to there being no appetite for more density, there also appears to be no appetite for creating real town centers or doing anything outside the typical suburban box.

I predict that like Clay County before it, St. Johns will start to lose its luster as the developments age and demographics change, well before it reaches parity with Duval County. Northside will be the new Southside and Nassau will be the new St. Johns. And then something else will happen.

What would be cool is if St. Johns thought ahead and tried to bring in employment (not just stealing a few companies already located in Jax) and created neighborhood centers, and maybe tried to save a few trees while they're at it. It would age better if they did. But I wouldn't get my hopes up. This is Florida.
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Tacachale

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Re: Will St. Johns Cty. Be On Par With Duval Cty. One Day?
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2020, 12:27:16 PM »
The public schools located in areas of similar age and demographics in Duval are just as good and these areas are growing just as fast as Northern St Johns. I think this gets lost in St. Johns growth articles. Same goes for newer areas in Clay and Nassau.

This is correct. Going to say Mandarin, Fletcher or Atlantic Coast High School is essentially no different than going to Bartram Trail or Nease in St. Johns County. The advantage St. Johns has is that it's so homogeneous that practically every school in the county is an A or B school. You don't have to research too much to get a good neighborhood school. This is an affect of the demographics of the county. It's over 90% white and comparatively affluent. For some people that's attractive but for others it's Stepford.
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thelakelander

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Re: Will St. Johns Cty. Be On Par With Duval Cty. One Day?
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2020, 12:39:06 PM »
The negative of being too homogeneous is that if you are new to the area and not English speaking white, you don't have the same support system as a student that you would have in the comparable Duval County schools.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 12:40:57 PM by thelakelander »
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Tacachale

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Re: Will St. Johns Cty. Be On Par With Duval Cty. One Day?
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2020, 01:01:03 PM »
The negative of being too homogeneous is that if you are new to the area and not English speaking white, you don't have the same support system as a student that you would have in the comparable Duval County schools.

Not just Stepford, but the people from Get Out.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?