Vero Beach Tangles with Neighbor. Who Pays?

Information filters force information flyers

GUEST COMMENTARY

LYNNE LARKIN

Lynne Larkin

The Town of Indian River Shores seems to be getting a “pass” from most of the local media.  Whatever they decide to do, whether it’s to sue Vero Beach over alleged mismanagement of their utility [never mind there is no cause of action for being stuck in contracts which have been determined to be legally binding and enforceable], or when they hold conversations and meetings outside the sunshine, Scripps and the beach weekly seem to think it’s just dandy.

Demonize the City, praise the Shores.  Who would think that the FPL/Brunjes family runs the PJ, or that the money fueling the “SELL” crowd’s traveling road show also helped start the beach weekly?  Would you have guessed from the attack-dog style used by both while they spin the City as an evil empire?  These media outlets filter your news to aid their monied backers.

Readers may not know, then, that the Shores has itself been called into court by unhappy residents.  Private citizens, outraged by the sneaky, back-door handout to developers, have asserted an appeal of the Shores re-zoning of residential land into a commercial strip mall on A-1-A.

If you missed this story, it’s not surprising.  During the dull summer months, the Shores council voted to allow new zoning, less parking, and higher-impact uses for land that is just south of the Village Shops.  Sure, right next to another commercial development that is not fully occupied, they found a “need” to re-zone residential land so their friends from Johns Island could get preferential treatment.

Neighbors without many personal connections to their alleged government representatives voiced opposition loudly and strongly.  For a town of this size, the number of people responding in outrage was quite high.  It continues to grow.  (They will be having their second public information meeting on February 8, 2015, in the Shores Community Center, 4 to 6 p.m., website https://irshores.wordpress.com)

Let’s all remind ourselves that every time season arrives, we see how badly planned the development of the barrier island has been.  High-density communities, aimed at making developers rich, have made it impossible to pull out onto A-1-A without a curse or two to the zoning gods.  Lines at stop lights back up for almost a mile on a regular basis, the worst of it being near any commercial center where ingress and egress of cars is nightmarish.  It was foreseeable, and it was stupid. Greed is not good, at least not for those of us who make this our home.

So that’s the news.  There are people who care.  There are people willing to fight to keep things honest.  There are your neighbors, spending money on lawsuits and informative mailers, who need your support.  You heard it here.

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