John’s Pass business owners rally for sand build-up solution, county says not its jurisdiction

Small business owners from John’s Pass rallied outside of a meeting with city, county and state leaders about a sand intrusion problem that is threatening businesses and causing a public safety issue.  

Over the decades, beach replenishments, along with bridge construction and long overdue maintenance, left a sand area where there shouldn't be one.  

The sand buildup is closing boat slips and has also blocked drains, causing street flooding.  The problem is causing safety concerns. The Madeira Beach Fire Department says water rescues are up 200 percent year-to-date as the sand has created a beach and swimming area in a dangerous channel with strong currents.  

RELATED Stretch of sand build-up wreaking havoc on John's Pass businesses

Dylan Hubbard, owner of Hubbard’s Marina, met with city and county leaders who told them this comes down to a private property issue. He's frustrated.

“What went on in the meeting today was about how jetties are not going to happen, and beach groins would take sand away from Madeira Beach area, and that we would have to do a study that is six months long and $35,000 to find out if we need to do a study that’s three years long and $3 million dollars,” Hubbard said 

RELATED Searching for a sandy solution: Madeira Beach officials to discuss sand-blocking at John's Pass

Kelli Hammer Levy, public works director for Pinellas County tells FOX 13 this is not within the county’s jurisdiction.  

“This particular issue related to sand shoaling in this area is not related to our [beach nourishment] program.” 

Hubbard says he will be meeting with other business owners to try and figure out the next step.  


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