About Port St. Lucie
The City of Port St. Lucie is proud to be a hometown where people live, learn, work and play, and celebrate all of life’s opportunities and dreams.
According to the United States Census Bureau’s 2015 population estimate, Port St. Lucie is the 8th largest city in Florida with 179,413 residents. Currently, it is the 3rd largest city in South Florida and the 8th largest city in Florida, surpassing Fort Lauderdale’s population of 178,590.
It occupies an area of 120 square miles in St. Lucie County on Florida’s east coast, about 50 miles north of West Palm Beach, half way between Miami and Orlando.
Average temperatures range from 64 degrees in February to 82 degrees in August, making the city and surrounding area a tourist destination and nature lover’s paradise. The attractive environment and top-rated park system stand out in southeast Florida, and the unspoiled river, top-rated golf courses and growing arts and performance community are key reasons for the city’s growth in recent years.
Port St. Lucie also attracts a vibrant mix of people because of its low crime rate, diverse housing stock and abundant open space, and because of the optimistic vision of the people who live here. According to BizJournals.com, the city has the highest homeownership rate in the nation in 2012 and is the only major market with a homeownership rate above 75 percent.As a growing community, the city offers diverse economic opportunities, clear guidelines for prosperous and sustainable growth, and state-of-the-art infrastructure ready to support development and investment. Additionally, the city government is committed to delivering outstanding public services that enhance the community and the quality of life for people of all ages.
There are traditional suburban neighborhoods, new mixed-use neighborhoods with a variety of housing types in walking distance to retail and dining establishments, and the beginning stages of a downtown that will integrating urban commercial development with outdoor nature trails, waterways and social opportunities.
In other words, there is plenty of room to grow for businesses, for families, and for people seeking the amenities of a big city while enjoying the comforts of a familiar hometown.
Type of Government
The city is led by a five-member elected Council, which sets policy and determines the long-term vision for the city. The Council appoints a City Manager to handle the daily business affairs, and a City Attorney to provide legal advice. This system is called a Council-Manager form of local government. Each Council member has one vote, including the Mayor, so legislative authority is equally spread among all five members.
Port St. Lucie City Council members must live in the district they represent, however residents throughout the city vote for every City Council seat, no matter which district. The Mayor is elected at-large in a citywide election and can live anywhere in the city. Like in the Council elections, all voters can vote in the mayoral election.
The Mayor and the other four City Council members serve 4-year terms. The District 1, District 3 and Mayoral seat will be up for election in November 2014. The next District 2 and District 4 seat elections are scheduled for 2016. There are no term limits for any City Council seat.
The city provides most traditional municipal services through several specialized city departments, which are directed by department heads. The department heads are appointed by and report directly to the City Manager. Major services include law enforcement (Police Department), water and sewer (Utilities Systems), Parks and Recreation, roads and drainage (Public Works), building inspections (Building), and several others.
Fire and rescue services in the city are provided by the St. Lucie County Fire District, which is a completely separate government entity from the city. Public schools in Port St. Lucie are run by the School Board of St. Lucie County.
The St. Lucie County Property Appraiser’s website shows home values and sizes in the city. You can search by sales dates and pricing, neighborhood or owner name.
While taxes vary widely from property to property, on average, the typical Port St. Lucie residential property was charged about $561 in 2015, plus about another $400 in fees for city stormwater drainage and trash pickup services. These amounts are for the City of Port St. Lucie only. There also are taxes and fees for St. Lucie County Government, the St. Lucie County School and Fire districts, and taxes from several smaller governmental agencies.
In 2014, the typical Port St. Lucie residential property paid a combined total of $2,000-$2,500 for all taxes and fees, however amounts varied widely depending on property values, exemptions and length of ownership.
For housing assistance information, contact the city’s Neighborhood Services Department. Their phone number is (772) 344-4084. We also recommend you continue to explore the city's website. It has a wealth of relevant information, including:
- City park locations
- Parks and Recreation activities
- Public meetings and events calendar
- Trash pickup and recycling
- Water and sewer service, charges and fees
- Crime statistics by neighborhood
- City’s annual budget
- City’s financial investments
City water and sewer service is available to every lot in Port St. Lucie and hookup is required for all new construction. For gas and electric, check with the providers listed below:
- Florida City Gas
- Florida Power & Light
For telephone, cable television and Internet service, there are several providers in the area:
- Hometown Cable Plus
There are two public transportation services and a number of Park and Ride lots (for regular commuters) in Port St. Lucie.