Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Legislators Discuss Forming City Tuesday

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Legislators Discuss Forming City Tuesday

Article excerpt

PONTE VEDRA BEACH -- Time is wearing thin for incorporation

supporters to get the word out on plans for a referendum on the

issue -- and for opponents to challenge it.

On Tuesday, the St. Johns County Legislative Delegation is

scheduled to hold a public hearing in St. Augustine and review

the proposed charter and House bill requesting a referendum on

whether Ponte Vedra Beach should become a town.

State Sen. Bill Bankhead, R-Jacksonville Beach, and Rep. Joe

Arnall, R-Ponte Vedra Beach, hosted a meeting Monday on the

issue and heard concerns from residents in the area.

More than 300 people packed the cafeteria at Ponte VedraPalm

Valley Elementary School, with many commenting on the

incorporation issue. Some Palm Valley residents want their area

to have the chance to opt out of a Ponte Vedra Beach town, and

asked the legislators to include that option in the House bill.

Other residents of Palm Valley want to be part of the

municipality.

At least two residents said the same amendment proposed to

exclude Palm Valley residents should also be applied to gated

communities.

Another issue brought before Bankhead and Arnall was whether

residents west of the Intracoastal Waterway, which is outside of

the proposed town limits, should be considered part of Ponte

Vedra Beach.

Some residents asked that legislators appoint a committee to

review the incorporation effort or to review the proposed town

charter.

Arnall said he is not convinced that the charter is in its best

form and wants to explore alternatives.

"If my name goes on a bill," he said, "I want the bill to be in

the best format possible."

Arnall said the charter may be separated from the House bill,

but he would not comment on whether he would recommend such a

move. …

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