Seven50 Opposition History
The Board of County Commissioners of Indian River County voted to withdraw from the Seven50 plan.
Read the letter which Indian River County Commissioner Bob Solari wrote to Michael Busha, Executive Director of the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, outlining some of the reasons why the Indian River County Commission disapproved of the Seven50 plan for Indian River County citizens.
Here is the story of that historic movement to withdraw from Seven50:
There is an ever-increasing government overreach in Indian River County. Here, in our 5-county area, we recognize this as Regionalism, the encroachment upon our property for the good of the collective, not the individual. To educate themselves on the deceptively innocuous term sustainable development, a core group of citizens attended a road show, or design charette in Vero Beach on October 25th of 2012. It was presented by “The Southeast Florida Regional Sustainable Communities HUD Grant Initiative.” Under their freshly-minted new name of “Seven50,” meaning, the control of seven Florida counties within 50 years, they planned to encompass an area stretching from Indian River County all the way to Key West. What this group learned at their meeting caused a small citizen uprising.
Quoting the opening words of the Seven50 spokesperson: “We intend to effect changes in housing and transportation. By establishing a train stop in Vero Beach we will bring millions of passengers by high speed rail from Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach and Orlando to use your parks and beaches.” That was a stunning opening statement for Vero Beach residents who have specifically chosen to live in a low-density population area.
The spokesperson continued. They intended further to re-zone our old downtown area and establish a “Sustainable Community”. What is a “Sustainable Community and who is in charge of its development? It is a cluster of low income, high density population, Housing and Urban Development, stack-and-pack high rises with demographic quotas. Now that vision for our community was something that We the People had never thought of.
Working hand-in-glove and using a grant from the Department of Transportation, Seven50 would then show us how the layout of our streets was “all wrong,” and that we needed to narrow and pedestrian-ize them in order to promote prosperity. Under their plan, existing businesses, unable to afford the new building codes, would necessarily go out of business and be replaced by the Sustainable Community model.
Working hand-in-glove through a grant from the EPA, under the guise of environmentalism with new regulations, they would determine that single family homes, with their individually controlled air conditioners and irrigated lawns would no longer be sustainable—for the good of the community. Private homes would be taxed in the extreme to help pay for the inner city sustainable community. The EPA, with additional regulations would deem that automobiles, with their “dirty carbon footprints” would no longer be necessary but that’s okay, because everyone would be living in the sustainable community next to the high speed rail where all your needs would be provided for under their new design.
What they did not say is that they are bypassing Congress and the state level and contravening our US Constitution. What they did not say is that in the process of re-engineering of our communities, they would bypass our locally elected officials and use instead, unelected bureaucrats, appointees un-vetted by us, from outside our area. After accepting the grant monies (can you spell the word bribe) they offer (with your own tax dollars), the locally elected officials would no longer have a say in the future development of your community, and neither would you. Once you accept their money, you lose your right to have a say. Remember Harvey Ruvin, who helped write the blueprint for Sustainable Communities: who said, “Individual rights will take a back seat to the Collective.” Capital C.
The end game is to redistribute wealth from the suburbs to support the inner city sustainable community where everyone would live in a one-size-fits-all human settlement. Drugs, crime and prostitution are the inevitable outcomes of these sustainable communities. They do not promote prosperity. They create government dependency. They do not provide jobs. They erode capitalism. And worse, they take away your right to decide how and where you live. Quite frankly, as Americans, many in the core group were offended.
A 900+ page document that mandates this re-engineering of America was signed in 1992 by President H.W. Bush. It was signed into Executive Order #12858 by President Clinton in 1993 and named “The President’s Council on Sustainable Communities.” It was signed again into Executive Order, #13575 by President Obama. Do we need reminding that an Executive Order bypasses Congress, contravenes our Constitution, is accountable only to the Judicial and Executive branches of government? When the 9 judges on the Supreme Court and the Executive branch bureaucrats are appointed by the president, the system of checks and balances diminishes considerably.
An Executive Order signed by the Commander-in-Chief of the United States of America is a powerful force indeed. And that is what controls Sustainable Community Development.
So how did Indian River County citizens stop Seven50? How did they protect themselves from collectivism vs. individualism when it comes to our private property rights? Following the Seven50 meeting held in Vero Beach, We the People of Indian River County immediately formed the American Coalition 4 Property Rights (AC4PR). Within three months, AC4PR was responsible for the City or Vero Beach, Indian River County, and Indian River Shores being the first in the state of Florida to vote down Seven50. How did they achieve this? Through educating the public. Because once citizens realize the true meaning of Seven50’s intent, the response is a resounding NO THANK YOU.
AC4PR began their campaign against Regionalism by holding meetings in the conference rooms of their public libraries. They wrote newspaper articles and provided radio interviews. They did their research and created information packets and brochures to hand out. They provided YouTube and website links. They provided knowledgeable speakers to help the public understand. They showed films and held Q & A sessions. They used the internet to create a mailing list. They spoke to prominent business people and civic groups. They spoke at churches, Rotary clubs, home-owners associations and in private homes. They made presentations to city councils and county commissioners one-on-one, making sure they understood the irreversible consequences of the Seven50 plan. Then they asked for the subject of Seven50 to be placed on their meeting agenda so that it could be discussed in public. This was done. At that meeting, the commissioners decided to have the matter taken to a second public meeting and placed on the agenda for a vote.
Gradually, AC4PR generated enough interest and resistance until they packed the county chambers with concerned citizens. They made history by filling every seat with concerned citizens, leaving standing room only. They had a long line of speakers who gave compelling evidence that Seven50 is NOT an American idea. In the end, they understood that we did not want a federalization of our living spaces that would take away our right to private property ownership or the right to choose how and where we live.
And, as they say . . . the rest was history!