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.