ISLAMORADA -- Publix, a change to the transferable development rights ordinance and the village's 2012 audit are among the topics scheduled for discussion at the Village Council meeting Thursday, April 11.
Councilman Mike Forster will lead the discussion about Publix, which is seeking to build a nearly 30,000-square-foot market at mile marker 82.5, bayside, on Upper Matecumbe Key. The market would be bound on the north by the old Fish Bowl site and on the south by Russell Street and Island Community Church.
The council is tentatively scheduled to take a vote on the Publix site plan at its meeting two weeks from now, said Forster, who explained he is bringing the subject up before then to head off a potential problem with the plan ahead of a vote.
"I believe it is the will of the council to make this happen under the right conditions," Forster said. "But I don't think the current plans are acceptable."
At issue is Publix's proposal to put the entrance to the market on Russell Street rather than on the Overseas Highway. The move is geared toward safety, company spokeswoman Kim Reynolds told the Free Press a year ago.
But the idea has always been controversial with residents who rely on Russell Street to get to their homes. The plan would also have a significant impact on Island Community Church and the elementary wing of Island Christian School.
Forster said several would-be Publix neighbors have told him they will consider taking legal action to block the market if the existing plan receives council approval.
Also Thursday, a proposal that would relax restrictions on transferring building rights from one Islamorada property to another will go before the council for a preliminary vote. The village closely regulates the sale and exchange of Islamorada's limited building rights between various properties, including forbidding the transfer of rights to a property that is considered more environmentally sensitive than the sender site.
The change to be considered Thursday would allow the owners of properties zoned mixed use to transfer development rights to the more restrictive residential medium and residential low districts.
Finally, council members will hear the preliminary results of the village's 2011-12 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. The audit, known as the CAFR, is a yearly analysis of the village's financial reporting practices conducted by a firm of the village's choosing.
In its preliminary report, the firm Cherry Bekaert Holland mainly gave a thumbs up to the village's financial reports.
They did reiterate last year's not-yet-corrected-finding that the village's computer server rooms are protected by a sprinkler system, which if activated, would be likely to damage or destroy the equipment.
In a formal response this year, the village said it would like to make the change, but doing so could be cost prohibitive.