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Legal issues behind the St. Augustine HGTV Dream Home
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Legal issues behind the St. Augustine HGTV Dream Home

  • PublishedMay 23, 2024



The contractor has now cleared the legal hurdles that it failed to jump during the construction process.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — Not far from the Intracoastal waterway in St. Augustine, the HGTV 2024 Dream House is tucked onto a marsh.

Wednesday, HGTV made the much-anticipated announcement.  The winner of the $2M dream home and prize package is Marie Fratta of New York.

For months before the announcement, HGTV showed off online the newly constructed home in the gated Pelican Reef neighborhood on Anastasia Island,  flashing images of it to millions of contest hopefuls.

Earlier this year, it was discovered that the contractors did not get approval for something in the back of the house.

“The problem was that they added material that encroached more than it should have,” Ron Woods explained. He is a structural and forensics engineer in Jacksonville. He said the house’s retaining wall as well as the rip rap around it,  jutted farther out to the marsh which is protected.  And the City of St. Augustine had not approved that.    

So the contractor — Coastal Getaway Homes – had to go back to the City of St. Augustine and to the St. Johns River Water Management District to get approval and a permit after everything was already built.

Woods says that’s rare, “but it does happen.”

The contractor hired various local experts and attorneys to eventually get the necessary permits in April and May. 

Woods says this particular issue with the retaining wall and the rip rap was relatively minor, and he’s not surprised it got approval after the fact. 

“It this had not been HGTV, no one would have very heard about it,” Woods said. “These things happen all the time with regard to this is a little different than what the original plan showed.”



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johndweiner@gmail.com

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