On Monday, April 4, the Ocean Ridge Town Commission will vote on the town’s purchase of an undeveloped wetland parcel adjoining the Intracoastal Waterway. The price tag is $2 million. The stated reason for the purchase is to a create a nature preserve.
The motivation for the purchase is more likely a fear that the property will be purchased by a developer.
The residents of Ocean Ridge and town commissioners need to consider the purchase in the context of the town’s numerous capital spending priorities.
In the most recent capital budget, over $400,000 of budget priorities were deferred to future budget years. Additionally, the $200,000 annual road repaving budget has been deferred for the past four budget years.
The town’s infrastructure is aging and in need of upgrade or replacement. Our municipal water lines must soon be replaced along with the multimillion-dollar cost of the septic to sewer conversion. I believe that rebuilding our town’s infrastructure is a higher priority than the purchase of an Intracoastal wetland.
If the motivation for the land purchase is the fear of the development of a private property, I believe it is an unfounded fear. The development of this wetland parcel would require years of governmental reviews and litigation. Approvals must be obtained from numerous agencies, including the Army Corps of Engineers, South Florida Water Management District and the town of Ocean Ridge. While it may not be impossible for a developer to obtain all the necessary approvals, it is unlikely.
What is the real risk if Ocean Ridge does not purchase this property? The risk is that a number of years down the road this property gets developed into a residential enclave of multimillion-dollar homes that become part of our community and add to our property tax base. That’s a risk that I think our elected commissioners should be willing to take and we as Ocean Ridge residents should wholeheartedly support them in taking.

Ric Carey
Ocean Ridge

You need to be a member of The Coastal Star to add comments!

Join The Coastal Star

Email me when people reply –


  • Ric- Thanks for your letter. Very well put. I get the uneasy feeling that those aboard the good ship Ocean Ridge want nothing more than to pull up the ladder and not let anyone else onboard.  No room at the Inn.  The council seems intent on quashing any potential growth and is willing to jeopardize our finances to achieve their isolationist goals.  Wouldn't we all be better off spending the 2 million bucks on sewers so our septic tanks don't leak E. coli into the ocean?  This is not who we are.  

This reply was deleted.