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May 15, 2024

Andres Duany's Presentation to Council Yesterday

Hello all,

 

Yesterday, Andres Duany presented a condensed version of the whopping 90-page Downtown Master Plan to the City Council. You may view the replay here (skip to 29:35).

 

Reminder: Friday, May 17 at 2:30 p.m. -- the Selection Committee will recommend their preferred Three Corners developer to City Council (OPEN to the public).

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May 14, 2024

Let's Talk Lagoon Part II

and

Three Corners Recommended Developer

Join us for Part II of Let's Talk Lagoon this Monday, May 20 at Riverside Theatre where we are delighted to once again be joined by Heather Stapleton of One Lagoon, so come ready with questions! We will answer questions submitted on cards from the last event as well.

 

Doors will open at 5:00 p.m. for mingling, complimentary sandwiches and cash bar. The actual program will begin at 5:30 p.m. and end at 7:00 p.m. sharp.

 

Mayor Cotugno will close the program with a quick "State of the City" and announce which Three Corners developer was chosen by the selection committee to go before Council for vote.

 

Monday, May 20

 

5:00 p.m. -- Doors Open

5:30 p.m. -- Program Begins

7:00 p.m. -- Program Ends

Complimentary Sandwiches and Cash Bar

RSVP Here

 

Heather Stapleton

One Lagoon

 

 

 

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May 9, 2024

Mark Your Calendars!

 

Andres Duany Returning to Town May 14

Andres Duany of DPZ CoDESIGN will return to Vero Beach on Tuesday, May 14, to present the final Downtown Master Plan, based on your input, to City Council. You may read the full DPZ report here. The meeting will take place at 9:30 a.m. in Council chambers (1053 20th Place).

 

Three Corners Selection Committe Makes Recommendation May 17

On May 13 and 17 (closed to the public), the Three Corners Selection Committee will be interviewing the developers. Then, on Friday, May 17, beginning at 2:30 p.m. they will make their final recommendation to Council as to the preferred developer. This meeting is open to the public. There has been much in the news on the four developers vying for the opportunity; it's all gathered here in one place for your convenience. If you haven't already, please take a moment to share your thoughts in the survey here. We will share the results with staff, council, community and selection committee members.

  

Let's Talk Lagoon -- Part 2 at Riverside Theatre May 20

Our next Let's Talk Vero at Riverside event with Mayor John Cotugno will take place on Monday, May 20. We had 250 guests in attendance at the last event, and given time constraints, were not able to get to the questions. So due to overwhelming demand, we are thrilled Heather Stapleton of One Lagoon will join us again to give a brief presentation to bring everyone up to date and then invite the audience to participate in a free-flowing Q&A. If you haven't had a chance to view the Let's Talk Lagoon Part 1 video, you may do so here. We hope to see you there. Please Note: Riverside Theatre will open its doors at 5:00 p.m. where guests will gather for 30 minutes to enjoy complimentary gourmet sandwiches and cash bar. The actual program will begin at 5:30 p.m. and end at 6:55 p.m. sharp. Mayor Cotugno will be on hand for questions and will close the program with an update on Three Corners and other key projects in the City. RSVP is required. 

RSVP Here

Urban Service Boundary -- ongoing

Indian River County has launched a series of workshops soliciting input on whether to expand the urban service boundary (USB). This would bring more areas of Vero Beach, Sebastian and Fellsmere into the utilities grid, but raises concerns over the intrusion of urban development into ecologically sensitive and rural areas. Both Larry Reisman and guest columnist Tom Cowan expressed skepticism toward the idea, noting an abundance of undeveloped land within the existing USB. Additionally, some have raised concerns that expansion of the USB could place unnecessary strain on a utilities department already grappling with a cumbersome septic-to-sewer program and potential infrastructure shortfalls.

 

More information about the County's public input process and workshops can be found here. The upcoming workshop dates are:

 

Wednesday, May 22

Intergenerational Recreation Center

1590 9th St. SW

11:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

 

Wednesday, May 29

IRC Administration Building A BOCC Chambers

1801 27th St.

11:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

 

Future State of the City Events - Mark Your Calendar

June 17 -- Three Corners developer (tentative)

July 15 -- Meet the Candidates for Sheriff (tentative)

 

Reminder: Renew Your Mail-In Ballot!

If you don't know already, your request for a mail-in ballot expired on December 31, 2022 due to changes in state law, meaning you must request a new one for the 2024 elections. You may do so online or call the Indian River County Supervisor of Elections at 772-226-4700.

 

Future Events

We asked and you told us the topics you'd like to bring to the stage. We will do what we can to accommodate all these requests; below is a tentative line-up. Dates may change.

  • Three Corners Developer (June 17 at Riverside)

  • Affordable Housing Workshop (date TBD)

  • State of the Hospital (date TBD)

  • Meet the Candidates - City Council (date TBD--October)

  • Meet the Candidates - IRC Sheriff (date TBD - likely July 15 at Riverside)

  • Meet the Candidates - County Commissioners (date TBD -- possibly ZOOM)

  • Meet the Candidates - School Board (date TBD)

If there are other topics you'd like us to add, or topics you think we should prioritize, please reply to this email with your suggestions, and we'll do our best to accommodate.

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April 30, 2024

Replay of Let's Talk Lagoon

Carve out 30 mins to watch this -- you won't be sorry!

 

If you're like most of our attendees, you will be in awe of the things you didn't even know and jazzed by the simple things you can readily do to contribute to a thriving lagoon.

Then forward this email to a friend.

Nearly 250 guests -- an unprecedented turnout -- sat in rapt attention as our seven panelists demystified the complexities surrounding what's ailing the Indian River Lagoon and what we can do as community members to take action. Covering complex and simple issues ranging from stormwater systems, macro lagoon challenges, funding and grants, septic-to-sewer conversion, lawn clippings, special interest groups, legislation, County and City action plans right on down to dog poop!

 

Watch the replay here.

 

Thank you to Jon Moses, Laurie Collings and the entire team at Riverside Theatre for graciously hosting last night's Let's Talk Lagoon. Fortunately for all of us, one of the theatre's core values is a commitment to community engagement -- we nearly filled the space and for once -- the sound was perfect! We had some really rough patches with earlier events.

 

And to our panelists (Sam Atwell, Joe Earman, Mike Johannsen, Judy Orcutt, Dale Sorensen, Heather Stapleton, Dr. Edie Widder, and our moderator extraordinaire, Baerbel O'Haire along with our Mayor John Cotugno.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Due to time constraints, we were unable to field questions. But we saved all your question cards and will organize a follow-up ZOOM or alternate event soon. Stay tuned.

 

In the meantime, don't forget to mark your calendars for our upcoming Let's Talk Vero/State of the City events at Riverside Theatre:

 

Monday, May 20 (time tba)

Monday, June 17 (time tba)

Monday, July 15 (time tba)

 

We will extend an invitation to the selected developer of Three Corners to present at the June 17 or July 15 event.

 

And last but not least, 32963's Mario Corbiciero gives us an advance look at this week's issue here so you can catch up on Three Corners, Police Chief Currey and other news.

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April 27, 2024

This Just in: Rankings for Three Corners Proposals

 

The Three Corners Selection Committee met yesterday to discuss and rank the four proposals for Three Corners.

 

CBS 12's Dylan Huberman covered the meeting, which you may view here. And TC Palm coverage is here

 

Selection Committee Rankings: 

  1. Clearpath

  2. Vista Blue

  3. Edgewater

  4. Suda Cred

Let's Talk Vero Survey Rankings:

  1. Clearpath

  2. Suda Cred

  3. Vista Blue

  4. Edgewater

Members spent hours deliberating each proposal in great detail, from financials and zoning laws to how they reflect Vero Beach's character, and more. Upon completion, each member individually ranked and scored the proposals, which were then aggregated and ranked overall based on the average. We will share the replay of that meeting next week.

 

Clearpath was lauded as aspirational and members took kindly to the hefty sum the firm is willing to invest in the property to propel Vero Beach forward, although several members suggested scaling it back a bit. Vista Blue was criticized for being too "members only" and narrow in scope, but was given the benefit of the doubt as there is strong potential to modify the proposal to align more with the master concept. Suda Cred came in last mostly due to the limited information available in the proposal given their late entrance into the process.

 

But this is far from over -- each developer will have a chance to address concerns raised and revise their proposals accordingly for the one-on-one meetings they will have with the committee on May 13 and 17. There is only one more session open to the public before Council votes on May 28.

 

If you want to attend that final meeting open to the public prior to official vote, which is where the selection committee will make their final recommendation to council, mark your calendar for Friday, May 17 at 2:30 p.m.

 

Last but not least, due to popular demand for Monday's Let's Talk Lagoon event, Riverside Theatre has moved us from the Waxlax to the mainstage so we can take people off the wait list.

 

If you are free on Monday, come by to sip, savor and celebrate the community coming together in support of our lagoon! Free and open to the public -- Riverside Theatre on Monday at 5 p.m.; program begins promptly at 5:30 p.m. with a hard stop at 7:00 p.m. We encourage your questions in advance.

 

Click here to RSVP

 

Let's Talk Vero is not officially aligned with the City of Vero Beach. We do, however, share survey results and community input gathered with Vero Beach City staff and Council members.

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April 25, 2024

Some important changes, updates and notifications:

 

Let's Talk Lagoon Event on Monday (4/29)

  • We are thrilled by the overwhelming response to the Let's Talk Lagoon panel discussion at Riverside Theatre on Monday. Alas, we are at capacity for the Waxlax Theatre so arrangements have been made for guests who RSVP after today to be able to view from the Orchid Lobby. If you wish to attend, RSVP here. You will either receive a notification that you are on the waitlist, which means you will view from the Orchid Lobby, or you will be alerted event registration is closed.

     

  • Additionally, we are delighted to announce Dr. Edie Widder of Team ORCA has joined our esteemed group of panelists.

 

Three Corners Developer Selection

  • Thank you all for taking the survey to rank your favorite plans based on the RFP responses. We had over 200 survey takers and over 100 write-in comments from respondents sharing both what they loved and what they were concerned about.

  • Mayor Cotugno was very impressed by both the quantity and quality of those write-in comments.

  • The survey results are below. If you want to get a copy of the 100+ write-in comments from respondents (without names), reply to this email and we will send them in a PDF to you. Your insights are invaluable as the committee and council members prepare to interview the developers.

  • There are at least four more meetings before council votes on final selection, so if you haven't taken the survey and would like to, click here.

  • Tomorrow -- (4/25) from 9 am - 5 pm, the Selection Committee will be meeting to rank the proposals. The meeting is open to the public.

  •  The May 28 meeting where Council members will vote on the chosen developer will take place at 6:00 p.m. to accommodate those who work and would not normally be able to attend.

April 22, 2024

Announcing panelist line-up for our most anticipated event yet!

 

Let's Talk Lagoon

a panel discussion

at our monthly

Let's Talk Vero at Riverside Theatre Series

 

an update on Three Corners developer selection will also be provided

Monday, April 29 from 5 - 7 p.m.

complimentary small plates and cash bar

 

You may recall, the health of the lagoon was raised at last month's event when Dale Sorensen congratulated Mayor Cotugno on the progress the City is making with the Downtown Master Plan and Three Corners project, while simultaneously cautioning all of us the success of these projects is reliant on a healthy lagoon.

 

Judy Orcutt of Clean Water Coalition asked us almost a year ago to focus more attention on it as well; she took us to tour Osprey Acres Stormwater Park and Nature Preserve, originally slated for more than 400 home parcels and now a nature lover's paradise dedicated to stormwater treatment and passive nutrient scrubbing. Duane De Freese of the Indian River Lagoon Council, Janie Gould of Environmental Learning Center, Bob Jones, Barbara Ruddy, and too many more to mention have been instrumental in helping us understand more as we assembled our panel. This is the first of what will hopefully be more programming on the subject for our Let's Talk Vero community.

 

But what exactly is a healthy lagoon, and how do we get there? What is the impact of a healthy lagoon on our quality of life, tourism, fishing, water sports and our home and property values? How will the Three Corners development impact lagoon health? Where have we been, where are we now, where are we headed, and what are our elected officials doing about it? And last but not least, what are some simple things we can all do to make a real difference?

 

Those questions and more -- along with actionable solutions -- will be explored by our dedicated group of panelists. Mayor John Cotugno will also be on hand to help us understand the City's commitment.

 

Free and open to the public -- RSVP Required

Complimentary Small Plates and Cash Bar

RSVP Required

 

Baerbel O'Haire

Moderator

The O'Haire Group, Merrill Lynch

Sam Atwell

Down Sea Charters

Judy Orcutt

Clean Water Coalition

Dale Sorensen

Dale Sorensen Real Estate

Joe Earman

County Commissioner

District 3

Heather Stapleton

Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program

Mike Johannsen

Indian River Neighborhood Association

 

Panelist Bios

Baerbel O’Haire:

A regular on the Forbes annual “Best-In-State Wealth Advisors” list, Baerbel O’Haire has served Vero Beach as a Merrill Wealth Management Advisor for 38 years and counting. A fourth generation Vero Beach family, the O’Haires reside on one of the first island home properties developed on the Indian River Lagoon, where they raised their three children. An avid water skier, Baerbel wants the Lagoon to be the best it can be as a public good for the community. Baerbel currently serves as the treasurer on the board of trustees for Riverside Theatre and has also served on the boards of Childcare Resources, Impact 100, and United Against Poverty. Daughter Sydney and son Conor have recently returned to Vero Beach to join The O’Haire Group, Merrill Lynch.

 

Sam Atwell:

Sam Atwell, recognized as a Yamaha “Best America Captain,” adeptly showcases the marvels of the Indian River Lagoon through his venture, Down Sea Charters. Beyond leading charters, he passionately advocates for conservation in Florida on a national scale. Notably, Atwell served as the host of Florida Sportsman Watermen, broadcasted on World Fishing Network and Sportsman Channel, utilizing this platform to ignite awareness and drive action on the critical challenges facing Florida’s prized waterways.

 

Judy Orcutt:

The President of the Clean Water Coalition and a vocal advocate for clean water in Indian River County, Judy Orcutt’s record includes serving on the Management Board of the IRL National Estuary Program, chairing the IRNA Lagoon Committee, and serving on the City of Vero Beach Utilities Advisory Board. As a Lagoon front resident since 1996, she has witnessed the Lagoon decline that she believes we can improve by all working together.

Dale Sorensen:

Dale Sorensen needs no introduction in Vero Beach. Since 1978, he and his wife, Matilde, have built their eponymous real estate firm from a local boutique shop to the nationally recognized luxury powerhouse brand it is today. The former headmaster of St. Edward’s School, Sorensen’s commitment to Vero Beach arts, culture and philanthropic initiatives is unparalleled in our community. Dale and Matilde, along with their children Elizabeth, Leslie and Dale Jr., care deeply about preserving the Indian River Lagoon as a source of enjoyment for future homebuyers, as well as generations past, present and future.

Joe Earman:

A lifelong resident, Joe Earman represents District 3 on the Indian River Board of County Commissioners. He began his career in various family businesses before going on to spend 35 years as a firefighter and paramedic, retiring as a captain in 2015. He serves as Vice-Chairman for the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program (IRLNEP) locally referred to as the “Lagoon Council” which is part of a network of 28 estuaries nationally administered by the EPA with a commitment to clean water and healthy marine ecosystems.

 

Heather Stapleton:

A graduate of Indiana University with triple majors in Environmental Studies, Political Science and French, Heather Stapleton began her career with a three-year stint in the Peace Corps. She has lived in Vero Beach for nearly two decades and has held executive positions at Vero Heritage, Inc. and the Environmental Learning Center. Currently a community engagement coordinator for One Lagoon (the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program), she channels her passion for the environment into fostering community connections and helping people live and be more lagoon friendly.

 

Mike Johannsen:

Mike Johannsen graduated from the U.S. Naval academy in the top 10% of his class before going on to serve his country for 26 years as a combat aircraft carrier pilot, followed by a 15-year career in national security. These days, rather than fighting foreign adversaries, Mike fights for clean water in Indian River County through leadership in various nonprofits as Chairman of the Indian River Neighborhood Association and a member of the Clean Water Coalition.

April 17, 2024

Extra! Extra! -- Read all About it!

 

IMPORTANT: Does anyone know Ray Grochowski? And if you do, can you please forward this email to him? It's a response to his letter (pasted below) to the editor which appeared in TC Palm today.

 

Imagine giving residents freedom to pick Three Corners plan

John Lennon well said it: “Imagine." Maybe that is just what we should do. Imagine, if the ultimate fate of the Three Corners site was not determined by several profit-seeking outside developers. Imagine, if several verbose, non-city resident columnists fostered ultimate determination directly by city residents. Imagine. In this era of electronic data-gathering capability, a determination of direction can be made in an ultimate and direct survey that gets to the core of what matters, by true residents of our city. A survey that results in direct input by the people that will be directly affected by the ultimate decision and not those outsiders/columnists with their own financial/personal agendas.

Further, the input of those organizations servicing critical community and social needs should be solicited. Yes, those organizations that struggle to service and support the not-so-financially endowed, the aged, the disabled, the homeless, those families struggling to find affordable housing, etc. 

Do we really need more commercialization? Why? To clog our roads more? To get further outcry from the “we need more parking” crowd? To further overwhelm our medical facilities? To further drive up our living costs? Just what is the underlying driving force for more commercialization? Am I the only one missing something here? Bottom line: Imagine if our leadership directed its search for our future direction, based on input from all of our city residents. Mr. Lennon was not only speaking to a past generation, his words are even more important in today's times. For us. Now.

Ray Grochowski, Vero Beach

 

As we lead up to Council voting on which developer to proceed with for Three Corners, we are seeing an increased incidence of "keyboard warriors" on Vero Beach Facebook groups -- people who are not engaged, informed, or open minded -- intent on spreading fear, misinformation and disinformation. We call it the tyranny of the few.

 

They advocate swarming Council meetings to shut the Three Corners project down. A reminder -- the referendum for Three Corners development passed overwhelmingly in favor of adopting the plan -- the vote was 80% for and 20% against. The community overwhelmingly wants it, and we urge Council not to be intimidated by a small, angry mob.

 

We addressed this in an earlier email, and I am thrilled to see Mayor Cotugno addressed it at the last Council meeting, Larry Reisman wrote about it here, and Ray McNulty has a piece about it coming out any moment in Vero News and 32963.

 

As all of you know, Let's Talk Vero (www.letstalkvero.com) has been engaging the community about growth and development issues in Vero Beach since beginning of the Three Corners project in 2019 with important updates, key dates, surveys and events. As a service to our community and free of charge to our readers, we circulate every single news story and keep people apprised of important meetings and dates. A full archive of every Three Corners news story (65+ stories) can be found here. Adn if you're feeling out of the loop, a ful larchive of our regular communications can be found here.

 

As a reminder, Let's Talk Vero is not officially aligned with or on retainer with the City of Vero Beach -- all our work is supported through the generosity of one patron, Baerbel O'Haire.

 

Given the City does not have a public relations department, we do share all results and input received with our elected officials so they may consider data-driven community input from an educated and informed citizenry. The Three Corners initiative received more engagement than any other project in the history of Vero Beach. The master plan adopted was authored by the community, for the community. Here is the archive of every story ever written about Three Corners. And here is the official COVB Three Corners project page. If you know people who would like to receive our regular updates and attend our State of the City events with Mayor Cotugno at Riverside Theatre, please forward this email and have them sign up here.

 

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

 

Tonight:

4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Downtown Farmers Market at 14th Street.

 

Tomorrow -- Thursday, April 18:

1:30 p.m. in Council Chambers or watch online. Xavier Iglesias of DPZ CoDESIGN will present the Downtown Master Plan to the Planning & Zoning board. If you wish to comment, you must attend in person. If you would like to watch from your computer, click here.

 

Friday, April 26:

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. -- The Three Corners Selection Committee will meet to rank the Three Corners proposals. This meeting is open to the public.

 

Monday, April 29:

5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. -- Monthly State of the City with Mayor John Cotugno at Riverside Theatre. Cash bar and complimentary apps.

 

We will host a panel discussion called Let's Talk Lagoon, with an illustrious group of community leaders -- Dale Sorenson, Sam Atwell, Joe Earman, Mike Johannsen, Heather Stapleton and Judy Orcutt. Moderated by Baerbel O'Haire. More details to come -- you definitely don't want to miss this one!

 

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, if you haven't yet taken the Three Corners survey, please click below and we will share with Council members and the selection committee.

 

Three Corners Survey

 

Once you click on the survey (click the button below), you will see we've attempted to share highlights and opinions from LTV readers and local media to help contextualize each response. Bear in mind, these are just snippets of opinions from the media and general feedback we are hearing. Each proposal has its merits, and we urge you to take a deeper dive to formulate your own opinions/questions you wish to share with Council members. Barring unforeseen circumstances, one of the four proposals will be chosen on May 28.

 

If you want to do more research prior to taking the survey, you may click on the links in blue below to 1) the actual RFP if you wish to read it in its entirety, 2) each of the four developer responses to the RFP and 3) a matrix Colliers put together for an "at a glance" look at each of the proposals.

 

RFP

 

  1. Clearpath

  2. Edgewater

  3. Suda Cred

  4. Vista Blue

     

At-a-glance Matrix (Colliers)

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April 8, 2024

Hello all,

 

Quick update and a correction.

 

First, the correction.

We erroneously noted the May 21 developer interviews with Council members and RFP respondents would be open to the public. The meeting is, in fact, closed.

 

Tomorrow -- Tuesday, April 9

Regular council meeting in chambers. The agenda can be found here. Some key items -- Appointment of interim city clerk, FY 2024-25 budget priorities, wastewater reclamation facility update, future public notices, etc.

 

Later this week

Keep an eye out for a survey from Jonathan Buckley with a deeper dive into the four RFP responses. We were not intending to prepare a survey because the time for community input was back in 2019/20 but many of you have asked if we could break them down a bit more, and so we will attempt to do that with photos, opinions reported in the media to date, and a survey -- all in one place to make it easier. The results will be shared with council members.

 

We've seen quite a bit of Facebook and Next-door chatter about shutting this project down and a recent TC Palm letter to the editor about turning it into a park. To clear up any confusion, this referendum passed 80/20 in favor (11/8/22) and laid out the following elements for the Three Corners plan -- 1) public use and access; 2) recreation; 3) retail; 4) restaurant and 5) hotel.

 

If there is one particular plan you want your elected officials to embrace, we urge you to take the survey and share with friends, neighbors and colleagues. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, one of the four developers will be chosen by Council on May 28.

 

Monday, April 29 -- 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Complimentary sandwiches and cash bar

 

DON'T MISS --

 

State of the City with Mayor John Cotugno at Riverside Theatre. We will be hosting a panel discussion moderated by Baerbel O'Haire about the health of the lagoon and its impact on our property values, tourism and recreation. You'll recall Dale Sorensen raised the issue of a healthy lagoon at the last meeting.

 

You'll also get an update on Three Corners and Downtown. By that time the ranking of the proposals by the evaluation committee will have taken place.

 

We will announce the panel participants later this week.

 

Last but not least, I would like to thank Laurie Collings, John Moses, and the entire team at Riverside Theatre for generously hosting this monthly community engagement event.

 

 

 

 

Important Dates:

Upcoming City Council Meetings

 

April:

4/9/24: 9:30 a.m. -- in Chambers

4/23/24: 9:30 a.m. -- in Chambers

 

May:

5/14/24: 9:30 a.m. -- in Chambers

5/28/24: 9:30 a.m.-- in Chambers

 

Downtown Master Plan Events Open to the Public

 

April:

4/18/24: 1:30 p.m. - DPZ presentation to Planning & Zoning Board

 

May:

5/14/24: 9:30 a.m. - Presentation and Council Vote

 

Three Corners Meetings Open to the Public

 

April:

4/26/24: 9:00 am –5:00 pm --- Ranking of Proposals

 

May:

5/17/24 2:30 pm -- 5:00 pm --- Recommendations to Council

5/28/24 9:30 am -- City Council Votes on selected developer

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March 20, 2024

Don't miss the chance to witness first-hand the most thrilling -- and final -- performance of the CMS inaugural season in Vero Beach. This evening at 6:45 for pre-concert talk. Concert begins at 7:30.

 

You will recall it all started with re-imagining Three Corners with state-of-the-art cultural facilities and an amphitheater. And here we are today!

 

In no time at all, CMS has become part of the fabric of our community, and we are so fortunate they have taken up residency in Vero Beach. If you are not already, you will become a devoted a chamber music fan after just one performance.

 

Join us as we say farewell to our CMS friends and artists:

Wu Han, David Finckel, Arnaud Sussmann, Suzanne Davidson and Rebecca Bogers -- until next season!

Wednesday, March 20

 

Trios Transformed

 

Trinity Episcopal Church

2365 Pine Avenue

 

Concert begins at 7:30 p.m.

Pre-concert talk begins at 6:45 p.m.

 

Works by Haydn and Beethoven

 

 

The electrifying concluding concert by CMS Co-Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han and violinist Arnaud Sussmann features a musical conversation between two titans of the chamber music genre, Haydn and Beethoven. This is a rare opportunity to witness the evolution of each composer’s piano trios, at the time when Haydn was at the height of his fame and influence and Beethoven was first establishing himself as a formidable composer and pianist.

View a personalized message from David Finckel here. Secure tickets here.

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March 18, 2024

Hello all,

 

Hope you had a wonderful St. Patrick's Day weekend. Some exciting new developments.

 

First -- don't miss out on the thrilling final performance of Lincoln Center's Chamber Music Society!

 

Wednesday, March 20

 

Trios Transformed

 

Trinity Episcopal Church

2365 Pine Avenue

 

Concert begins at 7:30 p.m.

Pre-concert talk begins at 6:45 p.m.

 

Works by Haydn and Beethoven

 

To hear lectures about the works being performed and to buy tickets, click here.

 

Thanks again to Riverside Theatre for hosting us for State of the City last week -- mark your calendar for the next one on April 29, where we will discuss the health of the lagoon, especially as it relates to tourism and property values.

 

Kinky Boots has officially wrapped up, but do come out for Yankee Tavern beginning tomorrow, March 19 (details below).

 

The Bobbie Olsen Series on the Waxlax Stage presents:
Yankee Tavern

By Steven Dietz

Yankee Tavern is a crumbling New York City bar. It is the place where people come to drink, connect and share stories that are only told in those places. One day, Adam, the young owner, and Janet, his fiancé, become embroiled in a conspiracy theory of personal and national significance when a stranger enters the bar and seems to know more than he should about the September 11th terrorist attacks. Yankee Tavern is a thriller laced with introspection and comedy. 

Buy Tickets

After Yankee Tavern, check out "On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan" from April 9 to May 5.

 

Three Corners

The race is on for the four developer proposals submitted. 32963 columnists Ray McNulty and Steve Thomas offer two compelling, competing opinions on who should carry the torch (read here and here respectively). We will keep you posted as new developments arise.

 

Downtown Farmers Market

Come downtown this Wednesday, March 20, for the next Downtown Farmers Market, hosted by Main Street Vero Beach at the intersection of 14th Ave. and 21st St. The time change and warmer weather combined with more growers -- Zesty Farms, 5-Acre Farms, Top Notch Microgreens, Tall Pines and more -- should bring us from "testing the concept" to bona fide market. Come out and support this market if you want to see it continue year-round.

 

Next City Council Meeting

The next City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 26 at 9:30 a.m. in city chambers.

 

In the meantime, you may review the previous City Council meeting discussing stormwater treatment and lagoon health. View the recording here and read minutes here.

 

More soon!

 

Irina

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March 12, 2024

Hello all,

 

Thank you for coming out last night for Let's Talk Vero's State of the City at Riverside Theatre.

 

We had over 100 guests to celebrate forward movement on Three Corners and the downtown master plan. Many of you who were unable to attend asked for a replay -- it is here.

 

At our next Let's Talk Vero State of the City at Riverside Theatre event, in addition to Three Corners and downtown updates, we hope to bring in community experts for a deep dive into the effects of stormwater runoff on the health of the lagoon and its impact on our economy, tourism, and quality of life. This introduction to a new topic was inspired by many of you who have commented you'd like to see updates extend beyond growth and development -- the most requested topic being the lagoon. That was underscored last night when long-time resident and realtor Dale Sorensen congratulated the city on the magnificent progress with Three Corners and Downtown, but noted if we don't have the lagoon in tip-top shape, we're going to lose it all.

 

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Let's Talk Vero at Riverside Theatre

State of the City

Update on Three Corners and Downtown Master Plan

with focus on

Health of the Indian River Lagoon

Monday, April 29

5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

 

The next City of Vero Beach council meeting about the Downtown Master Plan will take place on Thursday, April 18 in chambers at 1:30 p.m., where Andres Duany will make a presentation. The next Three Corners meeting open to the public will take place on Friday, April 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. See the full schedule below (dates subject to change):

Downtown Master Plan Timeline (as of 3/11/24)

3/14/24: DPZ provides initial report to staff

4/1/24: DPZ provides revised draft to staff

4/3/24: Staff comments back to DPZ

4/5/24: Plan is posted for public review & comments

4/18/24: 1:30 p.m. - DPZ presentation to Planning & Zoning Board (OPEN TO PULIC)

4/30/24: Draft report of Ideas for Downtown survey results complete

5/14/24: 9:30 a.m. - Presentation and Council Vote (OPEN TO PUBLIC)

 

Three Corners Meetings Timeline (as of 3/11/24)

4/26/24: 9:00 am –5:00 pm --- Ranking of Proposals (OPEN TO PUBLIC)

5/13/24:12:30 pm –5:00 pm --- Interviews with Developers (CLOSED TO PUBLIC)

5/17/24: 8:30 am – 2:45 pm --- Interviews with Developers (CLOSED TO PUBLIC)

5/17/24 2:30 pm -- 5:00 pm --- Recommendations to Council (OPEN TO PUBLIC)

5/28/24 9:30 am -- City Council Votes on selected developer (OPEN TO PUBLIC)

 

Lastly, on the naming of Three Corners, 83% of people who took our survey say they want to change the name. The top five suggested names are as follows: #1 Vero Landing, #2 Riverwalk, #3 Vero Walk, #4 The Landing at Three Corners, and #5 Water's Edge. Names that were not included in the survey but suggested by survey takers include: South Bridge District, Power Plant District, The Stacks, Gateway Plaza, Lagoon Landing, Big Blue District, Riverside Power, City Corner, and Vero Cove. We will be sharing a link with full results to everyone soon, including Council and the selected developer. We had about 300 survey takers and would like to see more. Please share this email and encourage people to take the survey here.

 

 

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March 4, 2024

DETAILS RELEASED FOR THREE CORNERS POTENTIAL DEVELOPERS

 

 

Here is the link to the COVB website where you can review the responses in their entirety.

 

Here is WPTV news coverage with John Shainman from this evening.

 

Here is TCPalm's Wicker Perlis' coverage.

 

Next State of the City

Monday, March 11 at Riverside Theatre

5:30 - 7:00 p.m. -- Cash Bar

6:00 - 6:30 p.m. -- Presentation

RSVP here

Note in your calendars the next five State of the City events. All take place at:

 

Riverside Theatre from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

March 11th

April 29th

May 20th

June 17th

July 15th 

 

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March 4, 2024

Hello all,

 

As promised, here is the survey about potentially renaming Three Corners.

 

We will announce the results at the next State of the City -- at Riverside Theatre on March 11. RSVP below.  

 

Next State of the City

Monday, March 11 at Riverside Theatre

5:30 - 7:00 p.m. -- Cash Bar

6:00 - 6:30 p.m. -- Presentation

RSVP here

Note in your calendars the next five State of the City events. All take place at:

 

Riverside Theatre from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

March 11th

April 29th

May 20th

June 17th

July 15th 

 

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February 29, 2024

If you're like most Let's Talk Vero readers, you are dying to know what's in those highly CONFIDENTIAL Three Corners developer RFP proposals! Well, thanks to Ray Mcnulty, we are bringing you the "insider" scoop here.

 

For the official deep dive and Q&A with Mayor John Cotugno and Planning Director Jason Jeffries, join us on March 11 at Riverside Theatre (see below for details)

 

In the meantime, be on the lookout for a survey coming soon seeking your ideas for a new name for Three Corners. For the longest time, people have wanted an alternative name. Now seems like an appropriate time to query Vero Beach residents. Do you have a suggested name? Reply to this email with your suggestion, and we will include in the new survey -- results will be revealed at the March 11 State of the City at Riverside Theatre.

 

Last but not least, if you want to get the best seats for tonight's Lincoln Center CMS Instrumental Inspirations, get there early for the pre-concert talk, which begins at 6:45.

 

Concert begins at 7:30. More details here.

 

Next State of the City

Monday, March 11 at Riverside Theatre

5:30 - 7:00 p.m. -- Cash Bar

6:00 - 6:30 p.m. -- Presentation

 

Join for Q&A and official deep dive into the

 Three Corners Developer Proposals

with

Mayor John Cotugno and Planning Director Jason Jeffries

and

Brief County Update

with

Commissioner Laura Moss

 

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February 23, 2024

DATES FOR YOUR CALENDAR: 

Tuesday, February 27 -- City Council Meeting (9:30 a.m., Chambers)

Wednesday, February 28 -- Three Corners Evaluation Committe (9:30 a.m., Chambers)

Thursday, February 29 -- CMS of Lincoln Center (7:30 p.m., Trinity Episcopal)

 

Hello everyone,

 

Great weather today for Downtown Friday! Check out the car show and featured band (Perfect Tuesday) This evening -- 6 - 9 pm; 14th Avenue & 21st Street.

 

Three important dates next week:

 

City Council meeting Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m.

Full agenda here. A few items up for discussion:

  • Downtown master plan recap and discussion about parking, incentives, etc. (Carroll)

  • Downtown parking and proposed valet parking at Freshman Learning Center (Dingle)

  • Three Corners comp plan amendment (ordinance)

  • Beachside 3-hour parking (Moore)

      

Three Corners Evaluation Committee

Meets Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m. in Chambers for a general discussion of the proposal process.

 

 

CMS of Lincoln Center Concert

At Trinity Episcopal Church on Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m. -- Sneak Peek here. Pre-Concert Talk at 6:45 pm; works by Schubert, Grieg, Vieuxtemps, and Dohnányi

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February 20, 2024

DATES FOR YOUR CALENDAR:

Tomorrow -- Wednesday, February 21 -- Downtown Farmers Market (4-7 pm)

Friday, February 23 -- Downtown Friday (6-9 pm)

Tuesday, February 27 -- City Council Meeting (9:30 a.m., Chambers)

Wednesday, February 28 -- Three Corners Evaluation Committee (9:30 a.m., Chambers)

Thursday, February 29 -- CMS of Lincoln Center (7:30 p.m., Trinity Episcopal)

Monday, March 4 -- Three Corners RFP Responses will be made public

Wednesday, May 1 -- Three Corners Selection Committe Meets to Score RFP Responses

Tuesday, May 28 -- RFP Selection Committe Recommends Preferred Developer to Council

 

Hello everyone,

 

Happy to be checking in again with updates on Three Corners, Downtown Master Plan, and most recent City Council meeting highlights.

 

Also, see the Chamber Society of Lincoln Center Season opening photos and lovely thank you video from Suzanne Davidson, CMS executive director, below. The arrival in Vero Beach and welcoming of CMS Lincoln Center to our community has been nothing short of spectacular!

 

Three Corners

As you all may recall, we received four responses to the Three Corners RFP. The names of the developers have been published but the content is confidential until March 4, when the evaluation committee will make recommendations to Council members.

 

February 13 City Council Meeting Highlights:

  • Keith Drewett (Clean Water Coalition) announced they have been approved for a grant of $200,000 to further the STEP System (septic to sewer conversion).

  • Gene Waddell commented that unless zoning rules are changed, no private investment will happen downtown and that onerous building department and permitting process delays need to be addressed.

  • There was discussion of formation of CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency) and other funding mechanisms to finance revitalization of Downtown so as not to put the burden on the community/taxpayers.

  • Joe Earman (County Commissioner) presented the plan for wrapping of electrical boxes in art; you've probably seen some already and -- happily -- it looks like we'll be seeing more!

  • The Three Corners Selection Committe process was discussed at length. The important key dates are listed above. City Manager, Monte Falls, gives a very detailed overview of the process, and you can understand more about why the council members were not part of the selection committee by watching the replay for four minutes beginning at the minute marker 56:19 in the replay here. For those of you who are keen followers of the project and want up-to-the second, accurate details vs. hearsay, I highly suggest you watch.

 

Ideas for Downtown

The downtown master plan charrette has concluded, and we want to let you know DPZ CoDESIGN is still accepting ideas. If you want to submit more ideas, you are encouraged to view the video of the final presentation and submit ideas by visiting the Ideas for Downtown section at www.COVB.org. And then take the survey or send your ideas via email to ideasfordowntown@covb.org.

 

 

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February 5, 2024

REMINDER

Don't forget this evening's opening presentation with Andres Duany and the DPZ CoDESIGN team takes place at the Heritage Center from 5 - 7, presentation begins at 5:30 p.m. The full schedule of meetings can be found at the official website for the project, www.IdeasforDowntown.com.

 

Parking can be found behind the Community Center/Pocahantas Park, on 14th Avenue, or in the overflow parking lot north of 23rd Street.

 

 

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February 2, 2024

Hello all,

 

Excited to report that according to Demandstar, the following developers submitted responses to the redevelopment and operations of the Three Corners site:

 

  1. Clearpath, Bloomington, IN

  2. Edgewater Group, Fort Lauderdale, FL

  3. Suda, Cred Capital, Madison Marquette, Pompano Beach, FL

  4. Vista Blue Vero Beach Resort & Spa, Vero Beach, FL

 

No doubt you'll be hearing more information from Jason Jeffries soon, and we'll be sure to share it. In the meantime, as seen in Ray McNulty's Vero News story yesterday (here), The Three Corners Selection Committee tasked with evaluating the respondents based on the city's criteria has been announced. The selection committee members are:

 

Jason Jeffries, Planning & Development Director

Steve Dionne, Finance Director

Matt Mitts, Public Works Director

Rob Bolton, Water-and-Sewer Director

Jeb Bittner, Planning & Zoning Board Chairman

Robert Jones, Finance Commission Chairman

Vicky Gould, Chair of the 2019 Three Corners Steering Committee

 

What an incredibly uplifting way to welcome DPZ back to Vero Beach next week. As always, we will keep you posted with updates.

 

REMINDERS:

Don't forget Monday's opening presentation with Andres Duany and the DPZ CoDESIGN team will take place at the Heritage Center from 5 - 7, with the presentation beginning at 5:30 p.m. The full schedule of meetings can be found at the official website for the project, www.IdeasforDowntown.com. Please visit the site, take the survey and RSVP for meetings (not required, but helpful). See Larry Reisman's TC Palm piece from this morning (here -- subscription required).

 

Last but not least, the city has extended the deadline to February 9 for public input in conjunction with the preparation of potential neighborhood protection and preservation policies for island and inland and beachside neighborhoods. Interested parties are invited and encouraged to provide comments here.

 

Looking forward to seeing you all next week,

 

 

Irina

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January 29, 2024

Greetings,

 

In case you missed it, I am sharing Mayor John E. Cotugno's message circulated Monday about the Ideas for Downtown campaign (pasted below).

 

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (actually twice if you participated in Three Corners!) to work alongside Andres Duany in shaping a Master Plan for Downtown. The team is eager to hear your ideas. Completed surveys are rolling in and we are sharing your insights and ideas with the team in real time. Let's keep those surveys coming.

 

Forward this email to your friends, family and colleagues and encourage them to get involved with what promises to be an exciting series of workshops.

 

Mark your calendars for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (Feb 5, 6 and 7) from 5 - 7 p.m. and then again on Friday, February 9 from 5-7 pm for the closing presentation. You can check out the full schedule here.

 

For planning purposes, we kindly ask you to RSVP in case we need to shift venues, add more chairs, etc. In fact, the opening presentation has already been moved to the Heritage Center and other presentations may as well. Fortunately, the two venues are close in proximity, and we will have re-direct signs from the Community Center for those who have already signed up.

 

Bear in mind:

 

  •  If you are new to this initiative, we suggest you start by reading up on Andres Duany's initial observations as presented to the City Council on January 18 in the "In the News" section and then check out the "FAQ/Resources" tab for links to historical studies at the website -- www.ideasfordowntown.com. If you want to drill deeper into the history, visit the Planning Department tab at www.COVB.org.

  • You will notice Andres is eager to hear from younger people...aka 30-year-olds who will be 50-year-olds when Downtown Vero matures. While there is a definite focus on the "under 45's," we want to hear from EVERYONE, so please take the survey and join in person as well.

  • When you take the survey, we do ask for your name, email address, and street address. We ask for this information to protect the integrity of the process as well as understand which Vero Beach residents are city residents (voters) and which are county (unable to vote in city elections). As a reminder, just because you have a Vero Beach mailing address does not mean you are actually a resident of the City of Vero Beach. You can check whether you are a city or county resident here.

  • Jason Jeffries, COVB Planning Director, is working on a list of frequently asked questions which will be posted to the website shortly. In the meantime, if you have any questions, you may pose them here.

  • If you are experiencing technical difficulties with the site or survey, please email jonathan@iwprgroup.com for assistance.

 

Last but not least, we urge you to take the survey ASAP so that the team has as much advance intelligence as possible.

 

And now....the Message from Mayor John E. Cotugno

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

A MESSAGE FROM

MAYOR JOHN E. COTUGNO

 

On behalf of my fellow council members and staff of the City of Vero Beach, I am excited to announce the Ideas for Downtown community engagement campaign with DPZ CoDESIGN is officially underway.

 

Andres Duany and the DPZ CoDESIGN team will arrive one week from today for what promises to be an exceedingly future-forward Downtown Master Plan Charrette, and we are eager to hear your ideas, both in person during the week-long charrette and online at www.ideasfordowntown.com. I encourage everyone in our community to get involved and take part in the process.

 

The outgrowth of a months-long process, this Charrette serves as the pre-cursor to adopting a new downtown master plan -- a plan very much designed for the future. And a plan that will appeal to the next generation who want to live, work and play in downtown. You'll see a lot of focus on how to make downtown more livable and on how to create more attainable housing in order to receive, attract and retain younger community members. You'll also see a lot of emphasis on shaping a place distinct in character from Ocean Drive or Three Corners.

 

Start by taking the survey. Then, mark your calendars for daily presentations and Q&A from 5-7 p.m. beginning Monday, February 5 through Friday, February 9 at the Vero Beach Community Center (2266 14th Ave.). Note: there will be no public presentation on Thursday, as the design team will be preparing their drawings for Friday's closing presentation. The full schedule can be found at on the website at www.ideasfordowntown.com

 

In closing, I want to express my gratitude to the entire Vero Beach community for your ongoing input, support and engagement on important issues facing our city. Your voices and feedback play a crucial role in shaping our priorities and decision-making.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Mayor John E. Cotugno

City of Vero Beach

January 29, 2024

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January 25, 2024

The Ideas for Downtown website and survey have officially launched!

IdeasforDowntown.com

 

Visit www.ideasfordowntown.com, take the survey, register for regular updates, and then forward this e-mail to your friends, colleagues and neighbors who want to share their ideas with Andres Duany and the DPZ CoDESIGN team as they work alongside the community to shape the future and design of Downtown Vero Beach.

 

 

 

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January 23, 2024

Reminder to attend tomorrow's Neighborhood meeting (not to be confused with ideas for downtown master plan with Andres Duany).

 

This will be a great opportunity to get to know and ask questions of Jason Jeffries, Planning & Development Director about potential changes to neighborhood protection policies.

 

These are two meetings set for tomorrow for citywide residents to share their concerns about encroachment -- or any kind of development -- taking place in their immediate neighborhoods.

 

There is meeting a at 2 pm for island residents and 6 pm for mainland residents.

 

If you'd like to submit questions in advance, simply reply to this email and I will forward to Jason.

 

See locations below:

 

NEIGHBORHOOD PROTECTION

On Wednesday, January 24 join these meetings to share your thoughts about Neighborhood Protection.

 

Beachside Neighborhood Meeting

2:00 p.m. -- Bethel Creek House, 4405 North A1A

 

Mainland Neighborhood Meeting

6:00 p.m. -- Vero Beach Community Center, 2266 14th Avenue

 

Neighborhood and protection policies serve to:

Preserve the character and quality of neighborhoods with an emphasis on maintaining unique character, identity and livability. They may include regulations on building design, density and use (commercial vs. residential, etc.), as well as guidelines for preserving historic buildings and landmarks.

 

These policies serve to:

 

Ensure compatibility and harmony. They may include zoning regulations that separate incompatible land uses, such as residential and industrial areas.

 

Protect natural resources and the environment. Think wetlands and water bodies. They may include restrictions on development in environmentally sensitive areas, requirements for green spaces and open areas, and regulations for sustainable building practices.

 

Enhance public safety and wellbeing of residents. Including regulations on fire safety, building codes, access to public amenities and provisions for emergency services.

 

Overall, these policies help to create and maintain a balanced and sustainable land use pattern that meets the needs of the community while protecting the environment and preserving the quality of life in neighborhoods.

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January 22, 2024

Important upcoming dates at a glance

Tonight: January 22 at 7:30 p.m. Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; Beethoven, Shostakovich and Dvorak. Trinity Episcopal Church Purchase tickets here.

Tomorrow: January 23 at 9:30 a.m. City Council meeting @ City Hall

January 18 -- 1:30 p.m. -- Andres Duany at Joint Council and Planning Meeting

January 24 -- 2:00 p.m. -- Beachside Neighborhood Protection Input Session

January 24 -- 6:00 p.m. -- Mainland Neighborhood Protection Input Session

February 5 - 9: Ideas for Downtown DPZ CoDESIGN Charrette (More details tk)

 

Tonight at 7:30 is the opening Concert for The Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society; The church is nearly sold out for this performance, but there are still seats available. Purchase tickets here.

REPLAY AND MEDIA COVERAGE OF PLANNER ANDRES DUANY'S OBSERVATIONS OF DOWNTOWN VERO BEACH.

 

Check out Andres Duany's observations during kick-off of the Vero Beach Master Plan here.

 

Looks like we have another standing ovation plan in the works!

 

 

Then read the media coverage. Larry Reisman's opinion piece here. Nick Slater's reporting here, and WPTV Television here.

 

Mark your calendar for February 5 - 9. More details to follow.

 

Ideas for Downtown website and surveys from the city are set to be launched this Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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January 17, 2024

Reminder:

Join Andres Duany in City Hall Tomorrow @1:30 P.M.

for

Ideas for Downtown Kick-off

Hello all,

 

Join Andres Duany tomorrow, Thursday, January 18 at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall for the joint City Council / Planning and Zoning workshop.

 

Andres and the DPZ CoDESIGN team want to hear your ideas as they prepare for the launch of the Ideas for Downtown Charrette scheduled for early February. Attend in chambers at 1053 20th Place or click here to watch via Channel 13. As always, we will be sharing the replay.

 

The Ideas for Downtown campaign will launch with a dedicated website and surveys soon. For now, mark your calendar for the Ideas for Downtown Charrette, scheduled for Monday, February 5 through Friday, February 9. There will be full-day workshops and meetings every day -- open to the public. More schedule details will be announced soon.

 

The team wants to hear from everyone, especially downtown neighbors, business and property owners. If you haven't already, please share your contact information and ideas with us here so that we may assist DPZ in organizing stakeholder meetings throughout the Charrette process.

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January 16, 2024

Hello everyone,

 

Sharing important upcoming dates at a glance -- more details below:

Tomorrow, January 17 -- 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. -- Downtown Farmers Market

January 18 -- 1:30 p.m. -- Andres Duany at Joint Council and Planning Meeting

January 24 -- 2:00 p.m. -- Beachside Neighborhood Protection Input Session

January 24 -- 6:00 p.m. -- Mainland Neighborhood Protection Input Session

DOWNTOWN MASTER PLAN KICK-OFF

As you know, we kick off the DPZ CoDESIGN Downtown Master Plan initiative this Thursday, January 18 at 1:30 p.m. Andres Duany will present his observations as we prepare for the launch of the Ideas for Downtown campaign. You may click here to watch via Channel 13.

 

As always, we will be sharing the replay. Also, don't forget to note February 5 - 9 for the actual Charrette. More details soon.

CALLING ALL DOWNTOWN STAKEHOLDERS

If you are a downtown property owner, neighbor or business owner, we want to make sure we have your contact information as we assist DPZ in organizing stakeholder meetings during the Charrette. Click here to share your information.

 

NEIGHBORHOOD PROTECTION

On Wednesday, January 24 join these meetings to share your thoughts about Neighborhood Protection.

 

Beachside Neighborhood Meeting

2:00 p.m. -- Bethel Creek House, 4405 North A1A

 

Mainland Neighborhood Meeting

6:00 p.m. -- Vero Beach Community Center, 2266 14th Avenue

 

Neighborhood and protection policies serve to:

Preserve the character and quality of neighborhoods with an emphasis on maintaining unique character, identity and livability. They may include regulations on building design, density and use, as well as guidelines for preserving historic buildings and landmarks.

 

These policies serve to:

 

Ensure compatibility and harmony. They may include zoning regulations that separate incompatible land uses, such as residential and industrial areas.

 

Protect natural resources and the environment. Think wetlands and water bodies. They may include restrictions on development in environmentally sensitive areas, requirements for green spaces and open areas, and regulations for sustainable building practices.

 

Enhance public safety and wellbeing of residents. Including regulations on fire safety, building codes, access to public amenities and provisions for emergency services.

 

Overall, these policies help to create and maintain a balanced and sustainable land use pattern that meets the needs of the community while protecting the environment and preserving the quality of life in neighborhoods.

 

Downtown Farmers Market

The Downtown Farmers Market returns tomorrow, Wednesday, January 17 from 4 - 7 p.m. along 14th Street.

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January 9, 2024

Let's get 2024 started with some exciting news and important dates -- open up your calendars!

 

But first, on behalf of our community, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Claire Higgins (Engel & Völkers) and Baerbel O'Haire (The O'Haire Group | Merrill Lynch), the two remarkable women who make Let's Talk Vero possible. Their commitment to powering civic engagement will have a lasting impact on Vero Beach now and for years to come.

 

New York's Lincoln Center is Coming to Town:

For the 2024 season, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center is proud to bring a lineup of world-renowned musicians to Vero Beach.

 

Introduced to our community by local architect Scott Johnson during the Three Corners envisioning process, we have three-world class concerts taking place at Trinity Episcopal Church. Check out the photos and fantastic coverage in 32963 here. Get your season tickets before they sell out! We'll be sure to send reminders.

 

Ideas for Downtown

The City of Vero Beach will begin the process of developing a downtown master plan this month. World-renowned architect and urban planner, Andres Duany and his team from DPZ CoDESIGN, will lead a charrette very similar to the Three Corners process, where they will actively be seeking your ideas. Expect a dedicated website, surveys and more announcements later this month. In the meantime, block out February 5 through 9 on your calendars for the charrette. More details soon.

 

Andres Duany and Xavier Iglesias will be here next week for key stakeholder meetings on January 17, followed by a presentation and joint meeting with City Council and the Planning & Zoning Board in chambers at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 18.

Coffee with the Mayor this Friday at Riverside Theater.

Main Street Vero Beach will host Coffee with the Mayor this Friday the 12th at 8:00 a.m. at Riverside Theater. Mayor Cotugno will be talking about the "why" behind the master plan initiative. Come on out, make new friends, celebrate the new season and get engaged. Open to all -- please RSVP here.

 

Downtown Farmers Market

The Downtown Farmers Market is returning Wednesday, January 17 from 4 - 7 p.m. along 14th Street. Thank you to Barbara Ruddy for her unwavering enthusiasm and for funding the music!

 

Look Both Ways -- Cross Walk Art

Thanks to Vice Mayor Linda Moore and Off Island Studios, get ready to experience some fun cross walk art beginning early spring -- sneak peek below. Keep an eye on the Edgewood area in the Vero Beach Arts Village. Special thanks to the volunteers and the Vero Beach Mural Project, who will be providing paint.

As we close out 2023 and welcome 2024, we would like to thank all of you for your amazing letters, comments and engagement over the past year. You've inspired us so much. If you have any ideas or suggestions for content, please don't hesitate to let us know.

 

Also, this is a good time to prune our lists. If you no longer wish to be engaged in growth and development issues in Vero Beach, please hit the unsubscribe button below or reply to this email with the word "unsubscribe."

 

Best regards,

 

 

Irina & Jonathan

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December 13, 2023

Downtown Farmers Market Debuts

Today

 

 

 

Farmers Market, Twin Pairs Outcome and Downtown Master Plan

 

 The Inaugural Downtown Vero Beach Farmers Market

TODAY

 

Wednesday, December 13

4 - 7 pm

In the heart of downtown

at the intersection of 21st Street and 14th Avenue

 

Hello all,

The day you have been waiting for has arrived. Later today from 4 - 7 pm is the inaugural farmer's market right in the heart of downtown, and it's all thanks to you for making your voices heard!

 

Special thanks to Claire Higgins of Engel & Völkers Real Estate and Baerbel O'Haire of The O'Haire Group, Merrill Lynch for powering the work that brought this to fruition. And to Matt Haynes of Main Street Vero Beach for listening to your feedback and making this a reality.

 

Swing by from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. to enjoy live music from Purr Box, an upbeat atmosphere and an assortment of produce and products from vendors below:

 

21st Amendment | Armani's Market | Barefoot Cafe | Barnes Citrus | Birdie Hogan | Bohemian Eats | Born2beecandles | Bragg Family Soaps | Chef Lippe | Countrywide Botanicals | Culinary Genie | Crystal Seas | CW Willis Family Farms | Dolly's Table | Florida Man Pet Treats | Fresh Market | Fruity Sunrise | Grumpy Cat Coffee | Haizea Lulich Florals | Happy Goat Soaps | Health Wealth Hydration | I Love You Peanut | Jerk on Jerkies | Kettle Corn | Local Seas Fisheries | Moe's Place | Nazhi Thee Baker | Niko's Market | Olives Guy | Palato Cafe and Bakery | Seafood Steve | Tall Pines Honey | Tea and Chi | The Mushroom Man | The Nut House | Thelma Jeans Bakery | Truly Delicious Foods | Vegan Mario | Wreaths for All Occasions | Zesty Fox Farms

 

 

 

 

In Other News:

 

Downtown Master Plan and Twin Pairs: Super excited to share the announcement of DPZ CoDESIGN -- the same designers for Three Corners -- as planners for the new Downtown Master Plan. A week-long

Charrette process, similar to the one you participated in for Three Corners, is slated for mid-February 2024. You will be hearing directly from the DPZ team and their PR consultant, Impact Campaigns, in the new year. As always, we will keep you apprised as well.

 

On a related note, the final vote on Twin Pairs took place yesterday -- option 4 was voted 4-1. You can see all options that were considered here and watch television news coverage here and here.

 

The final Twin Pairs outcome is very much a compromise; neither proponents nor opponents got what they wanted. But the decision paves the way for the community to collaborate again with DPZ on designing a master plan to achieve all the things our surveys say you want -- more walkability, better retail, more outdoor cafes, aesthetic enhancements, and more.

 

 

Final EAR/Comp Plan Workshop Today -- if you can make it in person at the Intergenerational Recreation Center (address: 1590 9th St SW). Meetings will take place at both 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., with the option to attend the 6:00 p.m. meeting via ZOOM (link).

 

In case you missed the last meeting, you may view a replay here.

 

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December 13, 2023

Downtown Farmers Market Debuts

Today

 

 

 

Farmers Market, Twin Pairs Outcome and Downtown Master Plan

 

 The Inaugural Downtown Vero Beach Farmers Market

TODAY

 

Wednesday, December 13

4 - 7 pm

In the heart of downtown

at the intersection of 21st Street and 14th Avenue

 

Hello all,

The day you have been waiting for has arrived. Later today from 4 - 7 pm is the inaugural farmer's market right in the heart of downtown, and it's all thanks to you for making your voices heard!

 

Special thanks to Claire Higgins of Engel & Völkers Real Estate and Baerbel O'Haire of The O'Haire Group, Merrill Lynch for powering the work that brought this to fruition. And to Matt Haynes of Main Street Vero Beach for listening to your feedback and making this a reality.

 

Swing by from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. to enjoy live music from Purr Box, an upbeat atmosphere and an assortment of produce and products from vendors below:

 

21st Amendment | Armani's Market | Barefoot Cafe | Barnes Citrus | Birdie Hogan | Bohemian Eats | Born2beecandles | Bragg Family Soaps | Chef Lippe | Countrywide Botanicals | Culinary Genie | Crystal Seas | CW Willis Family Farms | Dolly's Table | Florida Man Pet Treats | Fresh Market | Fruity Sunrise | Grumpy Cat Coffee | Haizea Lulich Florals | Happy Goat Soaps | Health Wealth Hydration | I Love You Peanut | Jerk on Jerkies | Kettle Corn | Local Seas Fisheries | Moe's Place | Nazhi Thee Baker | Niko's Market | Olives Guy | Palato Cafe and Bakery | Seafood Steve | Tall Pines Honey | Tea and Chi | The Mushroom Man | The Nut House | Thelma Jeans Bakery | Truly Delicious Foods | Vegan Mario | Wreaths for All Occasions | Zesty Fox Farms

 

 

 

 

In Other News:

 

Downtown Master Plan and Twin Pairs: Super excited to share the announcement of DPZ CoDESIGN -- the same designers for Three Corners -- as planners for the new Downtown Master Plan. A week-long

Charrette process, similar to the one you participated in for Three Corners, is slated for mid-February 2024. You will be hearing directly from the DPZ team and their PR consultant, Impact Campaigns, in the new year. As always, we will keep you apprised as well.

 

On a related note, the final vote on Twin Pairs took place yesterday -- option 4 was voted 4-1. You can see all options that were considered here and watch television news coverage here and here.

 

The final Twin Pairs outcome is very much a compromise; neither proponents nor opponents got what they wanted. But the decision paves the way for the community to collaborate again with DPZ on designing a master plan to achieve all the things our surveys say you want -- more walkability, better retail, more outdoor cafes, aesthetic enhancements, and more.

 

 

Final EAR/Comp Plan Workshop Today -- if you can make it in person at the Intergenerational Recreation Center (address: 1590 9th St SW). Meetings will take place at both 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., with the option to attend the 6:00 p.m. meeting via ZOOM (link).

 

In case you missed the last meeting, you may view a replay here.

 

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December 11, 2023

Big Day Tomorrow:

All You Need to Know

for Tuesday, December 12

Hello all,

 

So much going on tomorrow Tuesday, December 12 -- here is everything you need to know:

 

9:30 a.m. - Regular City Council Meeting

 

1:30 p.m. - Special Call Meeting

  • Final SR60/Twin Pairs lane repurposing workshop

  • City Council votes on one of four scenarios -- see the options in detail (Agenda pg. 15-24)

  • View full agenda here

 

4:30 p.m. - State of the City at CURFEW

  • Mayor Cotugno will update on all key city matters, including recap of the day

  • Commissioner Moss will provide a countywide update

  • More details and RSVP here

Reminder for Wednesday, December 13

 

11:00 a.m. - Comp Plan/EAR Workshop

  • Intergenerational Recreation Center (1590 9th St SW)

  • View the previous Comp Plan/EAR Workshop replay here

     

6:00 p.m. - Comp Plan/EAR Workshop (also via ZOOM)

  • Intergenerational Recreation Center (1590 9th St SW)

     

  4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. - Inaugural Downtown Farmer's Market

  • Intersection of 14th Ave. and 21st St.

 


 

 

 

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December 5, 2023

Next State of the City

One Week from Today

Tuesday, December 12

4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

State of the City

with

Mayor John Cotugno

and

Commissioner Laura Moss

 

Tuesday, December 12

4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

4:30 - 5:30 p.m. -- Cocktails

5:30 p.m. -- Presentation

at

CURFEW

1932 14th Ave, Vero Beach, FL 32960

 

Hello everyone,

 

Eat, drink, gather and -- most importantly -- engage, this coming Tuesday, December 12 for State of the City at our newest downtown restaurant, CURFEW (formerly Southern Social).

 

As you know, December 12 is the big day when City Council conducts a special workshop and makes its final decision on how to proceed with Twin Pairs. John Cotugno will provide a recap for those of you who are unable to attend the City Council meeting in chambers (December 12, 9:30 a.m.), and Laura Moss will give us an update on County matters.

RSVP

Arrive at 4:30 p.m. and get a taste of a CURFEW Confidential cocktail at the newly remodeled full-length bar. But don't get too carried away because at 5:30 p.m. you will head over to the dining room for the main event. Unlike our last event at Post & Vine, we will have the dining room to ourselves, meaning our audio will not be drowned out by the din of busy patrons.

 

Be sure to check out the menu, and we look forward to seeing you Tuesday.

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December 4, 2023

Call to Action

All residents of

Vero Beach, Sebastian, and Fellsmere

Full disclosure: This email is long, but I encourage you to read to the end. Bear in mind the top three things to do ASAP are listed below:

 

Take urgent action by doing these three things:

  • Take the survey

  • Attend the next meeting (Dec. 13)

  • Spread the word

 

Attention all Vero Beach, Sebastian, and Fellsmere residents, 

 

I write to you in the midst of a countywide make-or-break moment. You have seen the numbers and know that Indian River is growing by leaps and bounds -- up to 205,000 new residents by 2030. If you are holding out hope we can miraculously avoid this fate, which is not unique to this region of Florida, I regret to inform you this is not possible.

 

What is possible, you may ask?

 

While we cannot stop growth, we have a robust arsenal of tools at our disposal to manage this growth and preserve the charm of our county -- specifically, the Evaluation Appraisal Report (EAR) process currently under way which guides the review and revision of the Comprehensive Plan. As you know, unchecked growth can lead to various problems such as traffic congestion, loss of open space, increased pollution, strain on public services and infrastructure, and potential decrease in property values. The comprehensive plan -- which needs your input now -- helps to control rampant growth by:

 

  1. Providing a Vision: The plan provides a vision for the future of the community, which will help to guide growth in a sustainable and beneficial manner.

  2. Setting Goals and Objectives: The plan sets out specific goals and objectives for growth and development, which can help to ensure growth is managed and controlled.

  3. Establishing Policies and Strategies: The plan establishes policies and strategies for managing growth, which can help to prevent over-development and ensure growth is balanced and sustainable.

  4. Guiding Decision-making: The plan provides a framework for making decisions about land use and development, which can help to ensure that these decisions are in line with the community's vision and goals.

  5. Engaging the community: The process of developing the plan involves engaging the community, which can help to ensure the plan reflects the community's values and priorities. The County has gone above and beyond to make it easy for you to provide input. Without civic engagement, the comprehensive plan may not reflect the needs, desires, and priorities of the community at large, which can lead to a plan that benefits certain groups more than others or overlooks important community issues.

 

Indian River County, led by Chief of Long-range Planning Chris Balter (contact info above), is currently organizing a thorough public engagement process to guide the review of the comprehensive plan, an opportunity which arises only once every seven years. If you haven't already attended one of the first four meetings, please do everything in your power to attend one of the final two, being held on Wednesday, December 13 at the Intergenerational Recreation Center at 11 am and 6 pm.

 

If you cannot make one of the final meetings in person -- and even if you do -- please be sure to take this survey, open through December 31, and share with your friends, family and colleagues encouraging them to do the same.

 

I realize it's the holidays and everyone is busy, but if you don't get involved now, you may spend the next seven years wondering why your local government officials seemingly don't "get" you. This is avoidable.

 

Attend one of the meetings on the 13th (the 6 pm is available via ZOOM) and take the survey. If you are interested in receiving a replay of yesterday's meeting, click here and we will get that to you as soon as it is made available by Kimley-Horn.

 

Best regards,

 

Jonathan Buckley

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December 2, 2023

Downtown Farmers Market Debut

and other important dates

 

 

The Inaugural Downtown Vero Beach Farmers Market

 

Wednesday, December 13

4 - 6 pm

In the heart of downtown

at the intersection of 21st Street and 14th Avenue

 

Hello all,

You'll recall in our recent survey of Let's Talk Vero readers, the most sought-after amenity downtown (after more sidewalk cafes) was an early evening, mid-week Farmers Market.

 

We're super excited to say that thanks to Claire Higgins (Engel & Völkers Real Estate) and Baerbel O'Haire (The O'Haire Group, Merrill Lynch) and their commitment to powering citizen engagement, that dream becomes a reality in less than two weeks.

 

We shared the survey results with Matt Haynes (executive director of Main Street Vero Beach) and he and Barbara Ruddy, Vero's tireless cheerleader, got to work to deliver a first-rate mid-week Farmers Market. A sampling of vendors to date:

 

21st Amendment | Armani's Market | Barnes Citrus | Birdie Hogan | Bohemian Eats | Born2beecandles | Bragg Family Soaps | Chef Lippe | Countrywide Botanicals | Crystal Seas |

CW Willis Family Farms | Dolly's Table | Florida Man Pet Treats | Fresh Market | Fruity Sunrise | Haizea Lulich Florals | Happy Goat Soaps | Health Wealth Hydration | I Love You Peanut |

Jerk on Jerkies | Kettle Corn | Local Seas Fisheries | Moe's Place | Nazhi Thee Baker | Olives Guy

Palato Cafe and Bakery | Seafood Steve | Tea and Chi | The Mushroom Man | The Nut House

Thelma Jeans Bakery | Zesty Fox Farms

 

 

Also -- Mark Your calendar for these Important Dates (more details to come)

 

Tuesday, December 12

  • Twin Pairs Workshop

  • Regular Council Meeting

  • Let's Talk Vero's State of the City at Curfew from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.

    • Hosted by Tia Fanelli and Deb Kershaw at Curfew (formerly Southern Social)

 

Wednesday, December 13

  • Final County EAR/Comp Plan Workshop -- 6-9 pm at the Intergenerational Recreation Center -- for more details visit www.letstalkvero.com

     

 

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November 30, 2023

Call to Action

All residents of

Vero Beach, Sebastian, and Fellsmere

Full disclosure: This email is long, but I encourage you to read to the end. Bear in mind the top three things to do ASAP are listed below:

 

Take urgent action by doing these three things:

  • Take the survey

  • Attend the next meeting (Dec. 13)

  • Spread the word

 

Attention all Vero Beach, Sebastian, and Fellsmere residents, 

 

I write to you in the midst of a countywide make-or-break moment. You have seen the numbers and know that Indian River is growing by leaps and bounds -- up to 205,000 new residents by 2030. If you are holding out hope we can miraculously avoid this fate, which is not unique to this region of Florida, I regret to inform you this is not possible.

 

What is possible, you may ask?

 

While we cannot stop growth, we have a robust arsenal of tools at our disposal to manage this growth and preserve the charm of our county -- specifically, the Evaluation Appraisal Report (EAR) process currently under way which guides the review and revision of the Comprehensive Plan. As you know, unchecked growth can lead to various problems such as traffic congestion, loss of open space, increased pollution, strain on public services and infrastructure, and potential decrease in property values. The comprehensive plan -- which needs your input now -- helps to control rampant growth by:

 

  1. Providing a Vision: The plan provides a vision for the future of the community, which will help to guide growth in a sustainable and beneficial manner.

  2. Setting Goals and Objectives: The plan sets out specific goals and objectives for growth and development, which can help to ensure growth is managed and controlled.

  3. Establishing Policies and Strategies: The plan establishes policies and strategies for managing growth, which can help to prevent over-development and ensure growth is balanced and sustainable.

  4. Guiding Decision-making: The plan provides a framework for making decisions about land use and development, which can help to ensure that these decisions are in line with the community's vision and goals.

  5. Engaging the community: The process of developing the plan involves engaging the community, which can help to ensure the plan reflects the community's values and priorities. The County has gone above and beyond to make it easy for you to provide input. Without civic engagement, the comprehensive plan may not reflect the needs, desires, and priorities of the community at large, which can lead to a plan that benefits certain groups more than others or overlooks important community issues.

 

Indian River County, led by Chief of Long-range Planning Chris Balter (contact info above), is currently organizing a thorough public engagement process to guide the review of the comprehensive plan, an opportunity which arises only once every seven years. If you haven't already attended one of the first four meetings, please do everything in your power to attend one of the final two, being held on Wednesday, December 13 at the Intergenerational Recreation Center at 11 am and 6 pm.

 

If you cannot make one of the final meetings in person -- and even if you do -- please be sure to take this survey, open through December 31, and share with your friends, family and colleagues encouraging them to do the same.

 

I realize it's the holidays and everyone is busy, but if you don't get involved now, you may spend the next seven years wondering why your local government officials seemingly don't "get" you. This is avoidable.

 

Attend one of the meetings on the 13th (the 6 pm is available via ZOOM) and take the survey. If you are interested in receiving a replay of yesterday's meeting, click here and we will get that to you as soon as it is made available by Kimley-Horn.

 

Best regards,

 

Jonathan Buckley

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November 28, 2023

Tomorrow: Help Plan Indian River's Future

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello all,

 

I encourage you to attend the second Comprehensive Plan (Evaluation Appraisal Report) Workshop tomorrow, November 29 at the County Commission Chambers, Building A, Room A-1502 (address: 1801 27th St., Vero Beach, FL 32960). You can either attend at 11:00 a.m. or 6:00 p.m. depending on what fits your schedule. Again, if you would like to attend virtually, you may do so using this link, but this option is only available for the 6:00 p.m. evening meeting.

 

This is a valuable opportunity to guide the direction of the county's comprehensive plan and voice your concerns on matters related to land use and development in the region, as Commissioner Laura Moss has reminded us many times. Moss will provide an update on growth and development for us at the next State of the City in December, but until then, take advantage of this chance to directly mold the comprehensive plan through the public process.

 

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November 27, 2023

New Council Seated

Four Alternate Scenarios Proposed for Twin Pairs

Three Corners Prospective Developers Update

We hope you all had a great Thanksgiving weekend! Since our last update:

 

New Council:

Taylor Dingle was sworn in as a new Councilmember -- the youngest in COVB history! John Cotugno remains Mayor and Linda Moore remains Vice Mayor. Congratulations to all!

 

The matters outlined below will be discussed at tomorrow's Council meeting (11/28) at 9:30 a.m. in chambers. Or you can watch via Channel 13.

 

Alternate Twin Pairs Scenarios:

You'll recall in our last update we shared the idea of a new range of possible scenarios for Twin Pairs. The chart below sets forth four options proposed by Public Works for consideration at the December 12 Council meeting. Which option do you prefer? Share your thoughts (pro or con) and if you'd like us to share with the Let's Talk Vero readers, feel free to post in the Forum section or submit here via CitizenTalk and we'll share in an upcoming email. Ray McNulty's most recent opinion piece is here, for your ease of reference.

 

Option 1:

Original scope as presented by Kimley-Horn at workshops on October 5 and November 16. 

Option 2:

Original scope excluding parallel parking. Parallel parking would be removed from the proposed improvements and replaced with diagonal striping to eliminate the lane.

Option 3:

Safety improvements to be implemented by FDOT with no lane repurposing. 

Option 4:

Safety improvements to be implemented by FDOT and the addition of two landscape areas to repurpose the southern westbound lane of SR60 between 14th and 16th Avenue. The additional landscape areas would increase visibility at the SR 60/16th Avenue intersection to improve safety and reduce accidents. Note: Staff is currently coordinating with FDOT to determine the viability, cost and application requirements for this option (4).

Three Corners Update:

There will be a recap at the Council meeting tomorrow detailing the marketing efforts to date for the Three Corners RFP as well as a look at the prospects to date; currently there are over 35. The RFP is due mid-December -- as soon as we know who has actually responded, we will let you know. In the meantime, the PowerPoint for tomorrow's meeting can be found here.

 

And the full agenda for tomorrow's meeting can be found here.

 

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November 21, 2023

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

 

A couple updates:

 

Thank you all for coming out to the Twin Pairs Workshop this past Thursday -- we counted well over 100 participants. You can find the replay here and scroll to minute marker 53:58 for public comments.

 

You will see there were noticeably more supporters in the room this time around, and it appears Council is now working toward presenting some trade-offs/ concessions as part of a range of possible scenarios for discussion at a newly announced, final workshop (likely scheduled for December 12 just before the vote).

 

Coincidentally, NBC's Lester Holt ran a segment last night on road design, speed and safety, which you may find informative and relevant to what we are experiencing in Vero Beach. Clearly, this issue is national in scope. You may view the segment here. Let us know your thoughts!

 

Don't miss tomorrow's meeting to welcome Taylor Dingle as he takes his oath of office during the organizational meeting, which will also include certification of election results as well as the election of mayor and vice mayor. The meeting will take place at 10:00 a.m. in chambers (1053 20th Pl.) You may view the agenda here.

 

Last but not least, we hope to have an update on interested developers for Three Corners in early December.

 

Best,

 

Irina

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November 15, 2023

Big Day Tomorrow

Two Important Meetings

 

End the proliferation of tract housing, car washes, mattress stores and storage units throughout Vero Beach! Don't miss this Comp Plan Review Meeting -- in person or via ZOOM -- Read on.....and, of course, the final Twin Pairs input meeting also tomorrow.

 

Hello all,

 

Reminder to attend the FINAL TWIN PAIRS WORKSHOP tomorrow, Thursday, November 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the Vero Beach Community Center, 2266 14th Ave.

 

This is your final opportunity as citizens to engage with the issue in a public forum before the City Council votes on December 12. In advance of this meeting, please review the following:

  • Most up-to-date Kimley-Horn presentation

  • Survey and input results to date

  • Official FAQs based on your questions submitted

     

All three can be found here at this link.

 

Please let us know if you plan to attend in person by clicking here. If you would like to be sent a replay instead, let us know here.

 

Just as (if not more) important:

 

Christopher Balter, Chief of Long Range Planning for Indian River County encourages you all to join the County tomorrow, November 16, at the North County Library in Sebastian at 11:00 a.m., or via this ZOOM link for a critical review of the comprehensive plan.

 

The comprehensive plan guides decisions on land use, transportation, housing, infrastructure, and other aspects that directly impact the quality of life in our community. By participating in the review, you can help shape policies and strategies that enhance our community's livability, sustainability, and overall well-being. The meeting will take place at 1001 Sebastian Blvd, Sebastian, FL 32958.

 

Many of you have expressed concern about the rise of soulless tract housing and wasteful land use (storage units, mattress stores, etc.). This is your chance to voice objections and affect change.

 

County Commissioner Laura Moss will elaborate and provide an update at our next State of the City, sometime in December. Stay tuned for the date.

 

Refer to the graphic below for future meeting dates. We will send you a link to the County's survey when it opens tomorrow.

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November 9, 2023

Launching CitizenTalk 

for all County and City of Vero Beach residents

+

  • Official City-approved FAQs for Twin Pairs

  • Community Input collected as of 10/11/23

  • Updated PowerPoint for November 16

CITIZENTALK

You received earlier today an email from Jonathan Buckley with the first edition of CitizenTalk, a new Let's Talk Vero initiative designed to democratize the opinion ecosystem in Vero Beach -- the first featuring Bob Jones' rebuttal to a recent 32963/Ray McNulty opinion piece. 

 

We've received an overwhelmingly positive response, with many of you thanking us for making this possible and others commenting at length on Bob's observations. As such, we have created a way for you to read and interact with his (and future opinion pieces) by clicking here or visiting www.LetsTalkVero.com and clicking on the CitizenTalk tab, where you will be asked to register for an account if you haven't already.  

 

OFFICIAL CITY APPROVED FAQS FOR TWIN PAIRS

In advance of the next Twin Pairs meeting on the 16th, please find the following:

The most up-to-date Kimley-Horn presentation
The survey and input results to date
The official city-approved FAQs based on the questions LTV readers asked

 

All three can be found here at this link.

(Scroll to the end for FAQs)

 

REMINDER

The next public meeting for Twin Pairs will take place on:

 

Thursday, November 16 at 5:30 p.m. 

at the Community Center

2266 14th Avenue

 

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November 6, 2023

Remember to Vote Tomorrow

+

A Quick Update

Hello all,

 

Don't forget to vote tomorrow! The polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. You may find your polling location by entering your address here or by calling the Indian River County Supervisor of Elections at (772) 226-4700. Given the confusion around mail-in ballots, we encourage everyone to do their best to make the time to vote in person.

 

Also, remember there is a City Council Meeting tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., where Councilmember John Carroll will present on Twin Pairs. You may view his powerpoint ahead of time here. The full agenda is here for your ease of reference.

 

Many of you have been asking for the Kimley-Horn traffic study, which you may find here for your ease of reference.

 

Thank you all for taking the time to submit your questions about Twin Pairs following the first workshop. We have been advised that a public Q&A page will be posted on the City's website (and here) as early as Wednesday.

 

Last but not least, remember to come to the second Twin Pairs workshop on Thursday, November 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the Vero Beach Community Center, located at 2266 14th Ave., Vero Beach, FL 32960. This is your last chance to participate in the public input process with Kimley-Horn before the City votes on the matter on Tuesday, December 12.

 

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November 2, 2023

Downtown Master Plan and Twin Pairs Update

Hello all,

 

In case you missed Tuesday's special call workshop about the Downtown Master Plan, you may watch it here. Council voted 4-1 for Planning Director Jason Jeffries to formulate a downtown master plan and to explore funding options, such as a Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) or Business Improvement District (BID). We understand one of two firms will be chosen for this project -- DPZ CoDesign or Dover-Kohl. Nick Slater provides an in-depth summary of the points discussed here.

 

Regarding Twin Pairs, both Ray McNulty and Larry Reisman published articles today, which you may find here and here respectively. I would like to remind you that wherever you stand, attending the upcoming workshop on Thursday, November 16, at the Vero Beach Community Center at 5:30 p.m. is highly encouraged before the final vote takes place on Tuesday, December 12.

 

Larry Reisman revisited the concept of closing 14th Avenue to motor vehicles, as suggested by former County Commissioner Peter O'Bryan. What do you think of the idea of a pedestrian plaza?

 

Last but not least, Kimley-Horn is working on the questions you all asked. We hope to have those answers back to you in writing prior to the workshop on the 16th.

 

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November 1, 2023

Election Day is Just Around the Corner

Tuesday, November 7

7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

 

 

Hello City of Vero Beach Voters,

 

Election day is fast approaching, just a few days away on Tuesday, November 7. This election is an "off-year," one where voter turnout tends to be much lower. Consider: last year, 3,032 Vero Beach residents voted by mail. This year, due to the recent change in statewide rules, only 950 have returned mail-in ballots.

 

That's a reduction of nearly three quarters!! All the more reason to get out and vote this year. It's critical.

 

Life is very busy for all of us, and sometimes it is just easier to sit on the sidelines and let others decide the fate of our City. This is not the year to do that. I urge you to take a few moments out of your day to research the candidates, understand their platforms, and make your way to the polls. Municipal elections directly impact our daily lives even more so than statewide or national elections, shaping the policies and decisions that affect our neighborhoods, schools, infrastructure, and local economy. By participating in these elections, your voice is important in shaping the future of Vero Beach.

 

Go to the polls on Tuesday, November 7 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you are unsure of your polling location, you may enter your address here to find out.

 

Last but not least, all the candidates stand ready to answer your questions, and you may contact them individually using the email addresses provided below:

 

Taylor Dingle: taylorjdingle@gmail.com

Honey Minuse: sisustarfish@aol.com

John Cotugno: johnecotugno@gmail.com

 

Let's set a new record for off-year voter turnout in 2023! Send this email to your friends, neighbors, colleagues and family members urging them to get out and vote.

 

Best regards,

 

Jonathan Buckley

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