It’s Always Best To Know The Facts
As many of you know, the Town is considering purchasing the vacant land next door to Town Hall as well as the oceanfront parcel that is platted with it (1205/1206 Hillsboro Mile). There have been five public meetings at which the purchase of this property has been discussed, the first one being December 3, 2019. There are multiple reasons for considering this purchase. However, the single most important reason relates to our beach.
To renourish the beach, the Town must have an access point for actually getting sand to the beach. A beach nourishment is a monumental project that takes several weeks and up to 200 trucks a day delivering sand. Not only does the Town need a construction access point to the beach, but nourishment projects also require a substantial amount of space for “staging” the sand. The 1205/1206 parcel offers both.
In addition, this property is located smack dab in the middle of the northern mile of Town where the beach is chronically eroded due to the Deerfield groins. Other parcels have been considered, however, there is not a more perfect parcel in the whole Town for purposes of beach nourishment.
Another all-important piece to this decision is that from a legal standpoint, Deerfield has challenged the Town’s right to file suit because the Town doesn’t actually own property along the beach. The purchase of this property would definitively establish the Town’s standing for legal issues involving the beach.
Beware of Personal Agendas
Unfortunately, a small group of residents has mounted a campaign to create dissension over the purchase of this property. The information being supplied by this group is intentionally misleading, and in some cases, blatant untruths. They have been made aware of inaccuracies in the information they are claiming is factual, yet they persist in spreading false rumors. There is a simple explanation for this – they live next to the property being considered, and the NIMB syndrome (not-in-my-backyard) is in full swing. The fact is, members of the group did not initially object to the Town purchasing property, as long as it was somewhere else.
While it is understandable that during a beach nourishment there will be disruption, the vast majority of time, the area would exist as green space. Neighboring properties would have a more wide-open expanse of sky than if the land is sold to a developer. If the Town owns the property, scraggly, overgrown brush and a dilapidated building that needs to be torn down would be replaced by tended landscaping, with buffer zones installed for the privacy of neighboring properties.
Only Three Options
As long as the Deerfield groin situation remains unchanged, the residents of the Town of Hillsboro Beach have only three options when it comes to beach management:
Option #1 – We do nothing. This means residents pay zero dollars to maintain the beach. While we all wish we didn’t have to pay to have a beach, the simple fact is that if we want to have a beach, Option #1 is not a viable option. In just a few short years, Hillsboro Beach would become Hillsboro Cove, including the south end of Town, although it would take longer for the devastation to move south.
Option #2 – We do what we have to do to take care of our beach ourselves. This option costs money. FEMA funding from hurricanes will not necessarily be there when we need it. The 1205/1206 property is critical for the Town to be able to make Option #2 a viable option.
Option #3 – We ask the State for financial assistance IF that’s a decision residents make. The 1205/1206 property would be the insurance policy allowing us to request State funding at some point in the future, should the need arise.
It’s Always Best to Know the Facts
If you are concerned about whether the Town should purchase the 1205/1206 property, please plan to attend the public meeting being held at Town Hall on February 25, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. Your elected officials and Town staff know the facts. Disruptive residents with personal agendas and axes to grind are not a good source for factual information.