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Beau Rivage to get swankier address, if Scott approves

Thursday, March 8th, 2012 by Dara Kam

About 560 folks living in a waterfront enclave with a Stuart address but who live in St. Lucie County will be able to decide if they want a swankier, Martin County address under a measure on its way to Gov. Rick Scott.

The Florida Senate unanimously gave final approval to the bill (SB 800) after the House tweaked the proposal yesterday. The measure will allow residents of Beau Rivage and neighboring communities to vote on whether they want to change the county boundary lines.

The plan has divided some residents in the enclave nestled along the North Fork, many of whom believe they already live in Martin County. They want to make sure neighborhood kids can continue to attend school in Martin County, a long practice but something St. Lucie County officials have indicated they may soon end.

If approved by voters, St. Lucie would gradually have to transfer 10 percent of the enclave’s tax base per year for a decade to Martin County, meaning St. Lucie could eventually lose up to $1.2 million annually after the 223 homes and some vacant lots — valued at nearly $60 million — are taken off the tax rolls.

The last time the legislature changed the county lines was in 2007 when part of southern Palm Beach County was annexed into Broward County.

Battle of Beau Rivage nears the end

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012 by John Kennedy

A waterfront enclave in St. Lucie County could be moved into neighboring Martin County under a measure approved 113-2 Wednesday by the House.

Just days after the Tallahassee-area commemorated the Battle of Natural Bridge, the Confederacy’s last major victory of the Civil War, the Florida Legislature appears poised to settle the battle of Beau Rivage, a 129-acre development where some residents want to secede from St. Lucie County and join Martin, with voter approval.

Beau Rivage is on the north fork of the St. Lucie River. Residents have a Stuart address and can access their home St. Lucie County only by driving through Martin County.

“They are technically in St. Lucie County,” Rep. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, said of the 560 residents affected by the legislation (CS/SB 800). “But really, economically, physically and socially, they are in Martin County. It is true, St. Lucie County would prefer they not move…I understand that. They don’t want to lose their tax base.”

The measure is expected to be approved by the Senate before Friday’s scheduled adjournment.

Residents are divided about the proposal, which would require voter approval before the boundaries change. But others want the switch because St. Lucie County school officials have indicated they may back away from allowing the neighborhood children to attend school in Martin County.

The last time the legislature changed the county lines was in 2007 when part of southern Palm Beach County was annexed into Broward County.

 

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