Tequesta Village Approves 24-Hour Quiet Zone for Train Tracks

The Tequesta Village Council has approved the implementation of a 24-hour quiet zone at Tequesta Drive’s railroad crossing, prioritizing community concerns over train noise while debating safety implications. This decision was reached after extensive discussion, with input from residents and council members reflecting a range of perspectives on the balance between reducing noise pollution and maintaining public safety.

The establishment of the quiet zone emerged as the most impactful item from the recent council meeting. Residents from communities such as Tequesta Trace and Lighthouse Cove highlighted the disruptive nature of train horns, especially with the increase in frequency due to the Brightline service. The council engaged in a thorough discussion on the subject, weighing the benefits of noise reduction against potential safety risks. While some council members voiced hesitation, citing safety concerns, others acknowledged the disturbance caused by train horns and expressed sympathy for affected residents. Ultimately, the council voted in favor of the 24-hour quiet zone, with the condition of revisiting the decision if necessary, once the application is approved and more information becomes available.

In other significant council business, discussions around a potential merger with Mariner U, a registered investment advisor, took place, with assurances that no additional fees or proprietary products would result from the change. A recent sock audit concluded with no changes for the year ending September 30th, 2023. The interim firefighters’ pension benefits were acknowledged, allowing intern years to be counted towards pensions with the individuals’ contributions. Minor updates to the travel expense policy were mentioned, and the council reviewed a contract with CRX Max Consultants to improve the village’s flood rating, potentially reducing residents’ flood insurance premiums by an estimated 25%.

The council also addressed the extension of the infrastructure C-tax and the potential enactment of a Transportation S-tax, examining the financial impact on the village, which could amount to approximately $500,000 annually. The Village attorney briefed the council on the joint meeting of the Treasure Coast and South Florida Regional Planning Councils to discuss property insurance and Tri Rail’s future plans. The Village manager recounted the legislative session’s outcomes, focusing on bills affecting local governance, including mobility funding, homestead exemptions, and short-term rental regulations.

Public safety concerns were brought to the forefront as the Police Department reported on firearms training, the completion of manatee season, and enforcement actions related to e-bikes and golf carts. The misuse of these vehicles by minors and the lack of adherence to road safety rules were identified as issues. Education and enforcement strategies were discussed to address these challenges.

The Fire Department provided updates on retiree breakfasts, training programs, and upcoming events such as an Easter open house and a prescribed burn in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management. In addition, the Utilities Department presented ongoing projects, including the implementation of a quiet zone at the DeQua Drive railroad crossing, sparking debate among the council regarding safety concerns and traffic light timing in relation to the crossing.

During the meeting, a special event permit for a weekly farmers market at Gallery Square North was discussed. The market manager presented plans, including vendor details and a proposed schedule. The council members expressed support for the event, considering its positive impact on the community and the potential for growth. They also approved the village’s sponsorship and promotion of the event on social media, despite concerns about the sale of prepared foods and the need for legal disclaimers.

Additionally, the council debated a variance application from Tequesta Table to allow the serving of alcoholic beverages within the vicinity of a youth center. The council voted in favor of the variance, taking into account support from neighboring businesses and precedent set by similar variances granted in the area.

Other items included the approval of a budget amendment for grants and operational improvements, the discussion of service levels and increased charges to residents, and the promotion of “coffee with a veteran” events. A member was recognized for receiving a home rule hero award, and the council agreed to gather letters of support for an appropriation request to be sent to the governor’s office.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Molly Young
City Council Officials:
Thomas G. Bradford, Laurie Brandon, Patrick Painter, Rick Sartory

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