North Beach Association

North Beach Association Oct 13, 2014

Highlights of the last Directors' Meeting of the North Beach Association

  • New owners of the old Radisson site hoping for a new zoning code
  • New obstacle course at Seal Museum
  • New bridge proposed for South Causeway
  • Environmental Impact Study published for All Aboard Florida
  • Next Member Meeting is Nov. 10th at old Ft Pierce City Hall

New Zoning Code - St Lucie County is considering the creation of a new zoning code, "hotel resort", which could be used by the new owners of the Radisson property (corner of Shorewinds and A1A) as they move forward with their design for the property.     The "hotel resort" code would allow the development of property that would have the characteristics of a 4 star resort hotel and allow investment by private individuals in one or more of the larger units to be built.    Right now this new zoning code is still under consideration by the Planning and Zoning Commission and once agreed upon by this Commission will go to the Board of County Commissioners for their approval.  Only after the zoning code is approved will any property owner be able to submit an application to use the new zoning code.    In other words, while the new owners of the Radisson site are still hoping to develop their property, it will be years before there can be a new hotel and restaurant on the property.

SEAL Museum - A children's obstacle course is being completed on the grounds of the Navy SEAL Museum.  This free obstacle course will be a 1/4 scale replication of the actual obstacle course at the SEAL training facility in Coronado, California.     It's nearly ready to be opened and looks to this observer to be pretty big....teens might enjoy it, and even some very fit older folks.    Can't wait to have the grandkids check it out at Thanksgiving!

South Causeway Bridge - The Coast Guard evaluated the vehicle traffic using the South Causeway bascule bridge (drawbridge) and determined that a "service" problem exists at that bridge (FDOT Bridge # 940045).   There are 7000 cars crossing the bridge annually.   As a result of this study FDOT  has authorized $1.5 K for refurbishment in 2015 with the objective of lasting another 4 years.   In 2018 FDOT has plans to start the construction of a new 65' highrise fixed bridge with completion in 2019.   This would be YEARS ahead of the old schedule!   As currently described it would be a two lane bridge at a cost of $58.9 M.   You may have noticed the recent surveyors on the roadway and the pink and orange tape along the route, which means the design for the bridge has already begun.

All Aboard Florida - The draft Environmental Impact Study (EIS) for the All Aboard Florida high speed rail project was published in late September.  The Federal Rail Administration (FRA) has allowed a 75 day comment period for the review of this 500+ document and its umpteen appendices, of upwards of another 1000 pages, by the All Aboard Florida team and any and all citizens.    Dec 3rd is the end of the 75 day comment period and comments must be in writing and can be sent as email to Mr. John Winkle at aaf_comments@vhb.com

Mailing address is:

Mr. John Winkle
Federal Railroad Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue
SE Room W38-311
Washington, D.C. 20590

Completion of a final EIS, following the draft version, is a major step toward All Aboard Florida getting approvals and funding to complete Phase II of the railway from Orlando to West Palm Beach.    Phase I, from West Palm Beach to Miami, is already approved and underway.    All Aboard Florida has asked for a $1.5 Billion RRIF loan from the FRA (your tax dollars) to complete a new rail section from Orlando to the FECI corridor at Cocoa and a 2nd rail line all along the existing FECI corridor from Cocoa to West Palm Beach.   Trains will run through the Treasure Coast at speeds up to 110 mph 32 times each day.   Costs for enhancements to the 353 grade crossings along the way for safety and quiet zones could be the responsibility of local governments.  

All Aboard Florida is currently running commercials claiming that it will reduce congestion on Florida's highways and provide a safe transportation alternative for the travel between Orlando and Miami.     Florida NOT All Aboard researchers have shown that the amount of congestion that AAF claims to reduce is actually equivalent to removing 1 car from your interstate highway congestion every 4 miles.  Furthermore the congestion gets transferred to local community grade crossings and impacts 10-20 times more vehicles than AAF claims to remove from the interstate highway congestion.   With regard to safety, the highway fatalities that would be saved by lowering the highway vehicular traffic is slightly more than 1 life per year.  Although it may be true that there will be zero passenger fatalities, based upon the past 15 years of FECI railway statistics researchers have estimated that AAF trains will kill an additional 29 residents of local communities in train accidents along the train's route.

 

Jan.13th North Beach Association Meeting

The North Beach Association held its winter Members' meeting on January 13, 2014 at the Seal Museum.    The agenda included the Sheriff's crime report and guest speakers, Commissioner Frannie Hutchinson and Eric Gill.

Crime Alerts

Eleven (11) people have been contacted by phone and told that they haven't paid a traffic ticket and have been requested to provide personal information.   These calls are bogus and an attempt to collect information for identity theft.    Real traffic tickets are sent only through the U.S. Post Office and never communicated by phone.

Forty-eight (48) vehicles in the last two weeks have been burglarized because they were unlocked.    Lock it or Lose it!

Internet scan to be aware of.   Calls have occurred from people claiming to be a Windows Tech or a Microsoft Tech and offering to fix a problem that the recipient has allegedly reported.  This person directs the recipient to a website and if the recipient accesses that website his/her personal and network data will be downloaded/stolen.    The calls usually originate from locations outside of the U.S.     Be aware of the zipcode of the originating call and make sure it is legitimate.

Guest speaker - Commissioner Frannie Hutchinson

Commissioner Hutchinson made the following comments:

The bridge over the North Causeway has been discussed by the Commission for replacement by a high rise bridge.   However any work probably wouldn't be performed before 2017, if then.

The Board of County Commissioners is searching for a new County Administrator.  Faye Outlaw, the current Administrator, is resigning in May.

The St Lucie County economy is trending up a bit, unemployment is below double digit, and building permits are up.  This rise is consistent with an uptick of the economy throughout Florida.

All Aboard Florida, the high speed rail service planned to move passengers between Orlando and Miami, is projected to add 32 train trips per day through the county, with no stops planned for Indian River, St Lucie or Martin counties.    The county is responsible for improvements to each crossing that would allow it to be designated a "quiet zone".   If the crossing is not a quiet zone the train engineer is obligated to sound the horn several times as the train approaches the crossing.    The choice is more noise or more taxpayer dollars spent due to the All Aboard Florida project.     St Lucie County is seeking funds from the state to assist in making all crossings into quiet zones.

You may have noticed.....Within the last few weeks residents may have noticed a helicopter flying back and forth along the coast, trailing some kind of sensor equipment.    It turns out that the helicopter was privately funded to search for old WWII relics or ordnance that may have been uncovered by recent shifting of the underwater sands.

The U.S. Corp of Engineers has been conducted a Sands Study to determine sites of large deposits of sand offshore that might be dredged and shipped south to replenish the beaches off Miami Beach.   Seven (7) sites have been identified offshore, between Miami-Dade county and Sebastian.   Only 1 offshore site was identified off the coast of St Lucie County.

Guest Speaker - Eric Gill, Media Coordinator for St Lucie County

Mr. Gill showed the county's website,www.stlucieco.org, and showed some of its key features.   Information about all of the County departments and its activities can be accessed from this website, including all of the meetings of the Board of Commissioners and their taped videos.   It's a good way to stay informed.

The 2014 St Lucie County Fair is February 28th - March 9th at the Fairgrounds which are located off Midway Road, approximately 4.5 miles west of I-95.   For more information visit www.stluciecountyfair.org.

Finally, your representatives to the North Beach Association were accepted as Directors into the association, along with the Directors for all the Home Owner Associations on North Hutchinson Island.  Your representatives are Peter Bullock and Jeri Bullock.