Vero Beach City Councilman Richard Winger is not warming up to the idea of selling 35 acres of public open space, especially if the deal nets the City a loss of some $7 million dollars.
The land, located southeast of the intersection of 43rd Avenue and Aviation Boulevard, was once a 9-hole golf course own and operated by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Purchased by the City in 2005 for $10 million, the land is now the subject of a possible acquisition by a Palm Beach Gardens developer who is proposing to buy it for $2.7 million for a 280-home development.
Yesterday, Winger submitted an agenda idea for the March 7 City Council meeting proposing that any decision on selling the land be delayed until the Council’s first meeting in April.
Winger wants a closer look, and a public airing, of the considerations that went into the decision to by the land in 2005. Whether or not to sell the land is, Winger said, as much a visions issue as it is an economic one. “While the 2005 Council paid too much; money is a tangential issue,” Winger wrote, adding, “The real issue is whether the City Council of 2005 had the correct vision then and whether that vision is the correct vision now.”
When the 2005 Council bought the land, city leaders planned to develop it into public open space comparable to Riverside Park.