The April 18, 2014 TCRPC meeting was very interesting and didn’t appear to go according to “plan”. The meeting was originally scheduled to consider two primary items:

  • A Vehicle Miles Traveled Fuel Tax Presentation by Mark Reichert, Assistant Executive Director, Florida Transportation Commission
  • A request From the Indian River County Board of County Commissioners to return the name Seven50 to “Sustainable Communities Initiative” in light of the fact that the northern 3 counties involved in the Seven50 region have voted 12 to 3 to withdraw from the Seven50 plan.

But it turned out that the bulk of the meeting was consumed discussing – but eventually never acting upon – a request by the Indian River County Board of County Commissioners, asking that the TCRPC take immediate action to try to obtain more information about the proposed passenger rail service known as All Aboard Florida (AAF), which proposes to run 32 trains per day between Orlando and Miami, with no stops at all in Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin counties.  The public has become more and more concerned about AAF’s safety, noise, vehicular and marine traffic disruption, and taxpayer contributions to capitalizing and operating these trains that presently bisect many of the existing communities along the Treasure Coast.  Even though this issue is one of the largest planning concerns arising throughout the Treasure Coast  communities, AAF was NOWHERE TO BE SEEN on TCRPC’s original Agenda.

The AAF train is barreling down onto the Treasure Coast (at 110 miles per hour), and yet very few residents in the Treasure Coast are aware of this proposed plan and most of those who are aware feel the proposed AAF plan negatively impacts the quality of life we presently enjoy in our Treasure Coast communities.

The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) of Indian River County (IRC) has recognized these impacts and has begun to sound the alarm. On April 15th, three days prior to this TCRPC meeting the IRC BOCC passed a resolution asking the TCRPC, as an entity representing all jurisdictions in the Treasure Coast region, to more actively investigate AAF’s consequences and impacts.

As a result, IRC Commissioner Bob Solari attempted at the outset of this meeting to add IRC’s request to the meeting’s agenda as an “emergency” item. What followed was an amusing display of confusion and inability to come to grips with the issue raised.  Because much of the comment from TCRPC Board members was directed toward the “process” of adding an item to that day’s Agenda, which some members apparently did not wish to discuss, AC4PR has therefore grouped the video segments from this portion of the meeting into three categories:

The second item of AC4PR interest was the IRC’s request to rename Seven50 to Sustainable Communities Initiative, and we have grouped those video segments into:

Finally, Michael Busha, Executive Director of TCRPC, offered a:

which provides insight into what the TCRPC considers important, legislatively.  The backup material for this is also quite interesting:

Agenda Item #12, Exhibit 4, found on page 46 of 48 in the above link, is interesting in that it lists 16 Florida Statutes that have mandates for Regional Councils:

  • Chapter 163 Intergovernmental Programs
  • Chapter 186 State and Regional Planning
  • Chapter 253 State Lands
  • Chapter 260 Florida Greenways and Trails Act
  • Chapter 282 Communications and Data Processing
  • Chapter 288 Commercial Development and Capital Improvements
  • Chapter 282 Communications and Data Processing
  • Chapter 335 State Highway System
  • Chapter 339 Transportaion Finance and Planning
  • Chapter 373 Water Resources
  • Chapter 378 Land Reclamation
  • Chapter 380 Land and Water Management
  • Chapter 403 Environmental Control
  • Chapter 419 Community Residential Homes
  • Chapter 420 Housing
  • Chapter 427 Special Transportation and Communications
  • Chapter 985 Juvenile Justice, Conflict Resolution for Sites

The full Agenda, with backup links, can be found here.