Preview of 2021, Carole Mushier, President

So what do I expect for 2021? Nothing is going to be the same as usual for quite a while. As a matter of fact – some things may have been changed for a lifetime. We can be optimistic for the long term but it is harder for the short term.

We will see progress on the King’s Landing project. They have just announced securing a $45M hotel commitment from Mailsail and many of the homes and condos have been reserved. Look for initial phase site plans to come before the City Commission soon – then work can begin.

Many of us will continue to avoid even moderately sized groups of people in one place inside. So televised City meeting will continue to serve as our primary source of information. Do watch Comcast 27 or the City website live or the website after the fact! Everything is not reported in the newspaper and may not be accurate. Download the agenda and see it for yourself.

Each year at this time I receive an update and plans for the nourishment of sand on our beaches from County Senior Coastal Engineer Joshua Revord. He reports that “the emergency sand truck haul effort in May 2020 at Fort Pierce Beach was a success, and the stop-gap effort will continue to protect adjacent infrastructure until the next federal beach project is constructed in April of this year…approximately 459,000cubic yards of sand to be placed south of the inlet (in the near future). In addition, the BOCC recently executed an agreement….with the Army Corps of Engineers extending federal participation on this project for six years thru 2026!”

“The proposed inlet sand trap construction will likely begin this spring and the 60,000 cubic yard basin (sited north of the federal navigation channel) will hopefully provide a cost-effective, the supplemental sand source for future beach nourishment.”

There will be action taken on parking – both on the beach and downtown. For those of us on the beach, I see that there is a move toward paid parking for visitors with residents receiving free parking. Keep your eye out on the Commission for details and progress on the issue.

The seemingly never-ending issues surrounding Short Term/Vacation rentals on the beach will continue as long as the Stae continues to try and erode local jurisdiction in the area. Those of us living in neighborhoods of single-family homes in R1 & R2 zones have different expectations than those living in multifamily zones. The State makes no differentiation between zones with their one size fits all approach. Short Term/Vacation rentals bring multiple dollars into the State coffers – there is an old adage, “Follow the Money!” The City is doing all it can under State law. Follow the progress of the Task Force as it evaluates Conditional Use applications for these rentals. It may help but nothing can stop the effect on single-family neighborhoods without changes at the State level.

Finally, we expect that we will be able to resume the SBA Annual Meeting in 2022!