by Dylan Huberman.
VERO BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — The Vero Beach Preservation Alliance has appealed the decision to increase the size of the dry boat storage facility at the Municipal Marina.
This comes after a judge threw out the alliance’s attempt to put the issue to voters on the November ballot.
Many in Vero Beach see this back-and-forth over the city’s proposed expansion of the marina as part of a bigger debate over growth in the area and the issue could very well wind up back in front of a judge.
The city has been planning to expand the marina for a while now saying they need storage for more boats and larger boats to accommodate demand.
The Planning and Zoning Board approved the project earlier this month, but now that the Vero Beach Preservation Alliance has appealed that decision, everything is on hold.
“At this point, there is a say in any type of permitting for the project,” said Jason Jeffries, the Planning & Development Director for the City of Vero Beach.
This is a source of frustration for City Marina Director Sean Collins who says this expansion is not only necessary but long overdue.
“Years and decades – going back to the seventies, you know, we got some old documentation (from) marina directors back then looking to expand the marina,” Collins shared regarding the history of desired expansion.
In a written statement provided to CBS12 News, Leslie Tilley of the Preservation Alliance explained they want the project to be smaller saying that would protect the character of the neighborhood and reduce the environmental impact on the lagoon.
Collins points out the marina upgrade and expansion has broad support from city hall and the public. He hopes once this appeal is resolved, the project can go forward.
“It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon and it’s just that next mile that we have to get past and keep moving ahead,” he said.
The Preservation Alliance’s appeal will be heard by the city council at its meeting on December 6th.
Dylan Huberman is a reporter for CBS Channel 12 News, serving West Palm Beach in Florida.