VERO BEACH — After more than six months of complaints from residents of Vero Beach’s Original Town neighborhood, the Vero Beach City Council finally took action to have a makeshift bus depot removed from the parking lot of the old county administration building.
“The neighborhood has been patient,” said Councilman Ken Daige, adding that he wanted the buses gone within 24 hours. Not knowing if it was even possible or legally feasible to force the county to move the buses, the motion was amended from Councilman Ken Daige’s suggestion of 24 hours to “as quickly as possible.”
The decision to get GoLine buses out of a residential neighborhood came down to a 4-1 vote with Councilman Brian Heady dissenting.
Heady said he felt like some compromise could be worked out with the county to add bus stops closer to where riders live rather than to have them walking through the neighborhood.
The bus hub was moved from behind Pocahantas Park due to concern over undesirable residents being around a child’s playground and because the Chamber of Commerce had not wanted the depot in the backyard of its new Alma Lee Loy Chamber headquarters.
About a half-dozen residents of Original Town neighborhood, which is situated west of U.S. 1 and north of Downtown, showed up to share stories of vagrants, littering, crime and public nudity happening on their streets and sidewalks, in their yards and on their front porches.
Vice Mayor Sabin Abell empathized with the residents.
“If they’re using the present place where they’re parking the buses as a terminal, that’s ridiculous,” Abell said.