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American Beach Crossroads Presentation & Community Workshop March 23, 2024

Community Planning Collaborative met with the community on March 23, 2024 in the first of a series of meetings to gauge community wishes for the area around the intersection of Gregg and Lewis Streets. Also present were Commissioner Huppmann and Elizabeth Backe, County Planning Director.

Follow-up meetings are being scheduled to continue the conversation.

Tentative dates are:

Meeting two: Saturday June 1 or Saturday June 15

Meeting three (if needed): Saturday July 13 or Saturday July 27

Click the image above or here to read the presentation.

Feedback collected during the meeting

The meeting included small group discussion among people sitting at six tables.

There were 42 people in attendance.

The following questions were asked of the people in attendance to discuss:

  1. How would you define what the Crossroads area is?

  2. What do you like about the Crossroads area now?

  3. If you could wave a magic wand, what would the area look like?

  4. What functions, uses or elements do you want the area to have? Not have?

After discussion, the larger group reconvened to report back on what their tables discussed.

Table 1

  • Re: Evans’ Rendezvous - keep small with limited events, no more than 3-4 times per year.

  • Close gate at the beach

  • Underground utilities

Table 2

  • Re: defining the Crossroads - intersections of Gregg, Lewis, and Ocean

  • It is a mix of residential and commercial.

  • Not much to like about the area right now, but the historic buildings are a plus. It is not crowded and quiet.

  • If there was a magic wand, keep it quiet, community gathering spot, place to get water or a refreshment, shuttle to and from Burney Park.

  • Close the beach access and have more landscaping

  • Space for an umbrella and beach chair rental for American Beach residents

  • No roundabout

  • No large events

  • 2000 square feet or less residential

  • Noise limits

  • Height restrictions

Table 3

  • Agrees mostly with Table 2

  • Street lighting - used to be lights there; you can see posts but lights have been removed

  • Close Lewis Street car access - make it grand pedestrian access

  • Doesn’t want anything bringing in more cars to the area

  • Small commercial for neighbors or visitors walking/biking - coffee/pastries - but not auto-oriented

  • Very concerned about height of buildings - the 35’ limit now is manipulated

Table 4

  • Re: defining the Crossroads - Lewis and Gregg and including Ocean

  • Don’t like anything about the Crossroads now. Area is too busy with cars now, people sometimes block the driveways. Drainage issues.

  • Small restaurant inside Evans’ - maybe rooftop

  • Reduce car traffic, foot traffic only

  • Close beach access at Lewis

  • Natural landscaping

  • Better drainage

  • Barrier to prevent storm surge at Lewis access

  • Low-level street lighting

  • Place inside Evans’ to eat/drink

  • Underground utilities

Table 5

  • Why is it called the Crossroads? Is that a name/identity to continue? Answered at the meeting: information was shared that historic records indicate the use of this name in 1940s/1950s. It is in books from Marsha Phelts and in the National Register of Historic Places listing

  • Close Lewis Street beach access

  • Continuation of natural dune at Lewis Street access point - storm surge protection

  • Residential v. light commercial discussion between people at the table

  • Don’t want more traffic

  • What is a profitable/sustainable commercial use that doesn’t invite traffic? Is catering to pedestrians and bicyclists enough (for example)?

  • This is the last bastion/area to keep the spirit of American Beach alive. Most buildings in the historic photos are gone.

  • Don’t want to just be a group of houses that could be any neighborhood down the street. It is important to maintain identity, protect the legacy, and the spirit of American Beach.

Table 6

  • Also was curious about the term Crossroads

  • No commercial, too much traffic already

  • Gate at Lewis Street access has helped a little bit, but it is not helping overall. There are still too many speeding trucks and it is not safe for children.

  • Close Lewis Street beach access, foot traffic only

General comments:

  • Street lighting - should be strategic, not everywhere or super bright. Some lights now are too bright and may violate the ordinance as it is

  • The community is consistent in our interests, we just want to see things done

  • Commissioner Huppman shared information about exploring closing the Lewis Street beach access, restoring dune there, and moving the vehicle beach access to Burney Park. He has asked other Commissioners to allocate $75,000.00 to work on this to find out if it is possible. Involves working with Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

  • Government won’t fund everything, with plan developed by consensus, can look for grants and other funding

  • People visiting Lewis Street access may not be aware of Burney Park and parking/access there. Put signage at Lewis Street access now directing people to Burney Park.

  • American Beach Property Owners’ Association asked for temporary closing of Lewis Street access during the water/sewer project. It was to help people get used to using Burney Park and also stay out of the torn up streets. ABPOA directed this request to the County Manager. It never was elevated to the Board of County Commissioners to discuss.

  • The Lewis Street gate is broken again and doesn’t get fixed in a timely manner.

  • If the vehicle access is moved to Burney Park, the community needs a vision and consensus for what that area will look like too. This was a recommendation in the 2022 master plan.

Additional information is available on the County’s website

Please direct any comments or questions to:


Read more about Community Planning Collaborative on their website


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