Last chance to preserve Jupiter’s legacy

9 03 2012

It may be your last chance to preserve the legacy of Jupiter’s early settlers: Jupiter Lighthouse.

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Think Gateway Arch, Statue of Liberty, Washington Monument.

Those towering structures commemorate events that are remembrances of historic times, of cultural heritage. The majesty of those landmarks would be lost if the surrounding land was scarred with the proposed 700-plus foot long, 15-foot high retaining wall constructed of industrial grade vinyl, and the 1,391-foot-long breakwater barrier to public access that have been proposed for the lighthouse property.

Known as “Cato’s Bridge Beach,” a waterfront portion of lighthouse property on the west bank of the Intracoastal Waterway, extending north from Jupiter Inlet to Beach Road is a place where families have enjoyed a quick dip in crystal clear water for 50-plus years, where virtually every kid who grew up in the area could experience a rope swing.

This will be gone forever if you don’t stop proponents of the JILONA (Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Outstanding Natural Area) Working Group’s thinly veiled effort to deny public access.

Stabilization of the shoreline and bluff is a reasonable goal.

A plan that excludes public access a plan that has the aesthetic appeal of an industrial park, is totally inconsistent with the wishes of the community.

A professional landscape architect with 30-plus years of experience suggests a more effective, lest costly solution: Install a staircase from the water’s edge to a picnic area at the top of the mound. Stabilize the embankment with plantings that are commonly used for that purpose. Reduce the breakwater to just the southernmost portion of the beachfront. That solution will be less intrusive to the archeological artifacts in the earthen mound, and will be more appealing visually.

It will also extend public access to future generations without sacrificing erosion control.

Formal objections to the JILONA plan have been voiced by:

Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council

Florida Inland Navigation District

Village of Tequesta

Town of Juno Beach

Northern Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce

Martin County Board of County Commissioners

U.S. Congressman Rooney opposes the plan. Governor Scott initiated a review of the planning process and permit application. More than 1,700 people have expressed support of our efforts.

The Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management (ERM) permit application has been denied twice.

Responding to the latest approval attempt, the Southern District DEP office opted out of the process by classifying it a “Heightened Public Concern Project.”

Governor Scott and his Cabinet will make the final decision regarding the outcome.

Public efforts to stop the JILONA plan have been successful to this point. Add your voice to those who are fighting to Save Cato’s Bridge Beach.

Send an email message to: Karl.Rasmussen@DEP.State.FL.US

Tell him you want the Palm Beach County ERM application #50-0306206-001 for the JILONA property: Permanently Denied.

Tell him you want to preserve access to this small piece of “Old Jupiter” for your children, and your children’s children.

The Jupiter Courier Newsweekly, Vol. 1, Issue 14, March 8, 2012             http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2012/mar/08/last-chance-to-preserve-jupiters-legacy/

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