SAVE THE INDIAN RIVER LAGOON: STOP High-Rise Development Beachside in Brevard

  • by: Sandra S
  • recipient: Frank Catino, Curt Smith, Virginia Barker, Jim Barfield, Thomas Frick, Jennifer DiMaio, Cesar Zapata, Rita Pritchett, Henry Minneboo, Adam Lane Perez, Rick Scott, Scott Pruitt, Brevard County, Indian River Lagoon, Save the Lagoon, Satellite Beach, Cocoa B, Florida

CALL TO ACTION: Sign this petition and Join Our Cause to Help us SAVE the Indian River Lagoon in Florida.  Please sign the petition to PREVENT another sewage DISASTER in the Indian River Lagoon to save the Lagoon and Protect Brevard's billion $ tourism industry.  We must STOP ALL MEDIUM and HIGH DENSITY DEVELOPMENT BREVARD BEACHSIDE because the sewage, water and infrastructure can't support it. Make sure the Satellite Beach, Cocoa Beach, the developers, the county and the governor know residents do not want high-rises beachside!  To prevent more SEWAGE DUMPING DISASTERS in the Indian River Lagoon we need SUSTAINABILITY with low density development beachside. We need local county moratorium to stop medium and high density development until sewage infrastructure is fixed. We need the Indian River Lagoon declared a disaster by the Governor; and we need better State laws to reduce developers power at the expense of our environment. We demand a new beachside IMPACT STUDY of population growth to protect wildlife and water. We must STOP beachside cities from raising the building height allowed to protect the Indian River Lagoon.  Please share it on social media and with your neighbors.

We must AVOID adding more load to MITIGATE another SEWAGE DISASTER with emergency raw sewage discharges (reported 25m gal) into the Indian River Lagoon last year due to aging infrastructure and waste plant at 93% capacity (according to SB numbers) and when it rains the stormwater and rising water table put the plant over capacity! It will take years to do the infrastructure updates. How CAN THEY justify adding more load from high-density and ruin the environment and tourism industry!!! Then, there is the aging infrastructure that needs fixing. The dumping has been going on for years and the largest dumps coming from the sewage plant because it is near capacity.  YOU CANNOT SAVE THE LAGOON until you STOP THE DUMPING. 

According to this article, "The current South Beaches Wastewater Treatment Plant in Melbourne Beach is nearing full capacity, and Helmer said the Florida Department Environmental Protection could order the county to add capacity as part of its current operating permit renewal process. If the proposed new plant was in operation during and after Hurricane Irma last fall, Helmer believes that "we would have had no sewage discharges" into the Indian River Lagoon."  And still they approved the Oceana development - two 96 foot tower condominums.

Down the road, there is a NATURE PRESERVE across the road from PUD3 in Satellite Beach and the lights from proposed high-rises would be damaging to the endangered sea-turtles' recovery. What impact will high density condos have on the sea-turtles? Turtle recovery must be given priority over high-rise development when low density would not harm them.

In response to the Cocoa and Satellite Beach proposed height increases we demand a county impact study (LOS) on road, sewage, school, hurricane evacuation and infrastructure. A new impact feasibility study would also revise what county IMPACT Fees are paid to cover the infrastructure impact.  Residents should not pay for infrastructure expansion - developers should - and as everything is redevelopment there should not be writing off impact for equivalency. We are very concerned about the both Cocoa and Satellite Beach pushing for building height increases and that effect on infrastructure - AND the environment! 

The traffic impact of medium and high density development is detrimental to beach side living considering the high density development across from Publix and other developments in the past 14 years including the Oceana Oceanfront Condominium. There will also be the weekend traffic from Viera once the Pinda Causeway extension is completed. Not to mention how does the added populations impact emergency evacuation during hurricanes?  Additionally, Pedx crossing and reduction is speed for crossing. Added to proposed growth, this is why we need a beachside impact study (LOA).

Our current drinking water system is having big problems as well, we have had numerous boil water orders in the past year!

The city's argument to the Satellite Beach PUD3 building rendering is, "They can build anything they wish, but the project is in very infantile stages and that rendering is almost a rumor right now. The development rights for the property were already approved over 10 years ago. The City cannot take away those rights now." However, given the sewage emergencies experienced in the past year, it would be unethical to fail to ensure our community infrastructure can support this especially since Cocoa Beach too is increasing density.  There are also issues with zoning changes with insufficient notice according to statutes.

A rendering of high rises at the location of old Base Housing was recently posted, showing 4 high-rises and a hotel. When developers drop renderings like this it is called "floating a trial balloon" to gauge the reaction. From the approved plans from 2004, the developer is allowed 819 units on this property with single family, town home and condos - there was 100 units before. One problem is that the developer may be reducing the number of town-homes and putting in more condos. More details on PCN-3 (Pelican Coast North, tract 3) can be found here.

WE HAVE A BIG PROBLEM: The Satellite Beach city manager says, their hands are tied... The city requires a site plan approval process. It is required to be approved by City Council in a public meeting. WHEN THIS COMES WE NEED TO BE ORGANIZED with signatures.  As a voters we need to communicate we do not want medium and high density development.  We want a new sewage plant to avoid more sewage dumps into the Indian River Lagoon. 

We cannot trust our city lawmakers to do the right thing. Climate Ambassadors Meeting 4/26 (video on youtube) regarding raising building heights, the Satellite Beach said "So we don't want to take every ordinance or are we taking ordinances? this says we have to take ordinance to the voters and I'm thinking is that we want to let the city counsel do their job by creating the ordinances. So are we going to have to figure this out. Okay so this is the issue, yes I agree this shouldn't be in the charter but no one is gong to vote to get it out. I know that. There is a fear there that things are changing and no one is going to vote to take that out of the charter." So am hearing the Satellite Beach City Manager suggesting to have city counsel break the rules and put it in an ordinate and basically hope that no one notices that it didn't go to vote to change the 2007 charter for building heights. The corruption needs to stop!

For up to date information on our progress, please join our advocacy group on Facebook.

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