I just picked up the email bulletin from Dixie Speher, she of the total humour void, discussing a nice bit of oceanfront property on Stock Island. She rambles on a bit about how important it is to keep such properties accessible to the common man, etc etc...
Late last year the County Commission purchased what is commonly known as the “Hickory House Restaurant” property, located in my district on Maloney Avenue in Stock Island. It is no secret that there is in the Florida Keys, and indeed throughout the State of Florida, what is tantamount to an unabated “land grab” of waterfront property. This phenomenon is likely to continue, as Florida, our nation’s fourth most populous state—projected by the Census Bureau to rapidly overtake New York as the third most populous state—continues to see substantial population increases with people and businesses pressing to the land’s edge in order to enjoy direct access to Florida’s outstanding Gulf and Atlantic waters.
Unfortunately, these seemingly irrevocable demand pressures on limited shoreline property will, in perhaps too many cases, result in increasingly diminished public access to the waterfront throughout our state and here in the Keys, with escalating waterfront property prices leaving state and local governments, in these times of austerity, unable to buy waterfront properties on, or to secure long-term public access rights to, our scenic waterfronts. Stock Island had, until our Hickory House purchase, no direct routes to the waterfront guaranteeing public (in contrast to ‘private’) access down the road. It is also no secret that Stock Island, particularly its waterfront areas, are in the midst of an almost frenzied acquisition and redevelopment process, fueled by natural beauty, a true deep water port area and the looming opening of Cuba. We had to step in last year, and we did.
Now I have requested that the County Attorney place on the County Commission’s agenda and item for the approval to sell or go out for bid to sell the Hickory House property, wherein I hope to recoup our purchase price for the property while, in the context of a sale, reserve in our deeds of conveyance easements or similar rights that will ensure permanent public access to at least a modest piece of our historic and treasured Stock Island waterfront, while at the same time permitting a purchaser to make the best economic use of the property that our community’s character and our land development regulations will allow. I believe the Hickory House purchase was right for Monroe County when the purchase opportunity presented itself last year, and that my proposed sale plans are the right thing to pursue now.
Dixie M. Spehar,
Ok, is it just me, or does she end this piece by announcing that she is going to recommend SELLING this lovely bit of property? To the highest bidder? WTF?
This is without doubt a prime example of commissioners gone barking mad. I know she is going to try and turn this around, to make it somehow a good thing. She is after all recommending an easement. A fucking EASEMENT? Ok that means that no matter what ugly building/condo goes up, the developer must retain a path of some kind, accessible by the public.
Honestly, if Dixie had announced this on April Fools, I would have said kudos! Funny!
What a crock. This is screaming out for active protest. Enough of this shit already.