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Island Club puts annexation into Shores on hold until fall

STORY BY LISA ZAHNER, (Week of June 7, 2012)

Island Club has asked the Town of Indian River Shores to stall the process of annexing it into the town, at least temporarily, by holding off on public hearings until the fall.

Town Attorney Chester Clem told the Indian River Shores Town Council that annexation could be wrapped up in just a few months, but now the brakes have been put on the deal. All that can be done over the summer is the required impact report.

“The task has been put in the hands of Les Solin and Associates, Inc. He is the town planner. He is working on it but as of yet I have no response from him,” said Town Manager Richard Jefferson.

Jefferson said he does not yet have a cost estimate for the impact report.

Island Club residents, unless they hold a seat on the homeowner association board, apparently were neither informed nor consulted on the issue of annexation before the HOA voted to move forward.

“The Island Club Board representative came to us and said that they had approved to proceed, but asked that we wait until residents return in October-November for the public meetings so they would have a chance for input,” said Town Clerk Laura Aldrich. She said there was no second letter asking for the delay of public hearings, just a visit from community leaders.

The original letter – which Island Club residents evidently were not copied on – was from Island Club Homeowners Association President Leonard Marcotte and addressed to Town Manager Jefferson. It’s short and to the point, two sentences plus salutation and signature.

“The Island Club Board of Directors at our recent meeting voted to accept your invitation concerning annexation to IRS. As outlined in your literature IRS will do an ‘impact study’ and our Board will be looking forward to review the study when completed,” Marcotte stated.

Two Island Club residents wrote to Vero Beach 32963 questioning a story reporting on the vote of the Shores Town Council. 

“I, as a long time resident, would like to know who told the Indian River Shores Town Manager, Richard Jefferson, that the Island Club residents have voted to again begin courting rituals with his town council,” Alan Stansbury wrote.

“This is not true, perhaps our HOA Board, without our knowledge, agreed to review the Indian River Shores proposal, but we residents have not voted on it,” Stansbury said.

Stansbury said he and most Island Club residents have been aware of the county’s “shortcomings” for years and have learned to live with them.

“But a lot of us wonder why the Indian River Shores wants us into the fold. Are they just acting as big brothers, looking out for our welfare, or are they only after our tax dollars? If the proposed annexation ever comes to us on a ballot, both my wife and I will definitely vote against it, and I hope my fellow residents will do the same,” Stansbury said.

If everything went without a hitch, annexation could have been completed early this summer and the Island Club could have, theoretically, ended up on the Indian River Shores tax rolls sooner than later.

Since public hearings are a key part of the process of annexing a willing joiner to the town, the switchover will not take place until next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.