What’s in a Name? Our Park at Westmoreland (members only – VOTE)

We are so proud of the way you have expressed your civic minded contribution to the well-being of our Sandpiper Bay community over the past many years. Did you know that the city of Port Saint Lucie officials has expressed desires to use the Sandpiper Bay Community/Neighborhood as a model to help promote similar development with the 34 other neighborhood associations?

Unfortunately, however, we on the board are frustrated to learn that the signage at the park on Westmoreland (near Gowin) may not be changed to reflect our new name, Sandpiper Bay Community. In fact, it will even eliminate the old name, Sandpiper Bay Homeowners Association, which the city dedicated to our organization for 30 years of outstanding civic service. In addition, the organization was key in getting the city to dedicate that parcel to a park instead of a development when General Development Corporation donated the land and we paid for the sign.

It seemed like a simple request in September 2019. We want you, the residents, to know about the issue. First, the city records of dedication have not been found. Second, the Parks & Recreation Department wanted to standardize all park signs. They decided to name the park, Sandpiper Bay Neighborhood Park which is not an issue as it identifies all of Sandpiper Bay instead of the requested Sandpiper Bay Community Park. Why? Because the words “Community Park”: are used as one of their five categories of types of parks. Thirdly, city sign zoning has changed, based on a US Supreme Court Rulings and our city’s desire to avoid sign pollution, our name association on public property is being challenged. The sign was there before the Supreme Court ruling.

Sandpiper Bay Homeowner’s Association was the very first civic association in the city, starting in 1965 and incorporated in 1968, and is huge part of Port Saint Lucie history. Unfortunately, the city could not find records of the dedication in 1998, even though it was timed to celebrate the 30 years of community service rendered and that the Sandpiper Bay Community was very instrumental in getting the city to dedicate this parcel, given to them by GDC, to a park. This completely disenfranchises what is now over 52 years of civic service. The record of proof is the sign that stand there today. No other records are needed.

Under the NICE program our city government is to promote neighborhood civic associations, neighborhood identity and support resident inputs. We hope that the well-deserved 30-year effort of our association is not disenfranchised over some technicalities, especially since we have added an additional 23 years of civic service since then.

It would be very disappointing to many who have served our community to see this honor disposed and demotivating to those currently serving. It also would fly in the face of the city objectives of the NICE program. We have since provided the city with two-point papers to validate the legality and need for Sandpiper Bay Community. We hope that by working together the city is now in a position to make an equitable compromise.

Your Civic Committee and President will be meeting with the city in the very near future and want and need your input please. We want to take your responses to the meeting.