Editor’s note: Richard Winger, a former mayor of Vero Beach, who served three terms on the City Council, is circulating a petition opposing the Council’s plans to lease the River House in MacWilliam Park to a brewery.
There is an important issue concerning our valuable and irreplaceable public parks in the City of Vero Beach. Our parks are now under threat from the encroachment of commercial development. There is a proposal before city council to include a bar/brewery/restaurant to displace the River House community center at MacWilliam Park. Commercial developers are poised to submit plans for establishing a commercial business inside our parkland in violation of our city charter. A complicit city council is willing to relinquish a portion of our park for this venture. If this dangerous precedent is set, all our parks are at risk by a Council that has made the determination that, “we have too many parks.”
We have to pay attention here and voice our concern. These City Council members were elected to represent the safety and welfare of the people, not the special interests of developers. The current Mayor told the Orchid Island Brewery at the May 15th meeting, that “if it doesn’t work out for you at the River House, you can put it at the Waddell Building.” They have made it clear by their actions that they not care about our dog park or protecting our parklands. They do not care about the negative impacts on our quality of life, the safety of the families at the baseball field, destruction of our property values or our legal right to quiet enjoyment when multi-millions can be made by developing the land.
Please read the attached petition and give serious thought to the implications, should we allow this proposal for a bar/brewery/restaurant to pass. We are not opposed to enterprise, but not in City of Vero Beach public parks. There are many commercial locations zoned for businesses. MacWilliam Park is directly adjacent to the homes of nearly 100 people and Beachland Elementary School.
It is only when we unite that our voices will be heard. We can halt the encroachment of commercial development in our parks and protect our neighborhoods by speaking up now. Please help us fill as many seats as possible at the city council meeting, 1053 20th Place. Call each council member at 772-978-4700 and let them know you are not happy about having a bar/brewery in MacWilliam Park or relinquishing future parkland in the City of Vero Beach to commercial development. Sign and submit the attached petition.
You can download the petition here: