The Town of Hobe Sound
Making Hobe Sound a Town has been a decades old discussion. By incorporating Hobe Sound of Martin County we will allow residents the opportunity for self-determination, ensuring home rule. Many current residents as well as the supporters of the Town of Hobe Sound want to protect and preserve their hometown with local representation. Working together, incorporation is a long term affordable option.
We have submitted our proposal to the State Legislature on August 30, 2016. The Legislature will hopefully accept our request and allow the community to vote on incorporating the Town of Hobe Sound by November of 2017.
Many residents have their reservations about becoming a town, concerned about having more government and higher taxes. We encourage all residents to attend one of the many Town Presentations where your questions can be heard and answered. We have conducted two studies, a one year and a five year estimate, to show the actual anticipated costs. Our consultant, BJM Consulting, has determined the Town’s costs are actually lower in the first year. The five year study is available on the Study Page.
The startup committee of Protecting Hobe Sound, Inc. are the same people that were involved in Preserve Martin County which fought off the big developers by I-95 in Hobe Sound. They are always volunteering in events around town whether it’s Natives Helping Natives, Chamber events, Little league, etc. Read more about the people behind Protecting Hobe Sound, Inc. here.
Currently the proposed area of the Town of Hobe Sound has 15,362 residents, and we are being represented by 1 commissioner. The people this 1 commissioner represents includes all of Hobe Sound from Osprey to the County Line in Tequesta, Jupiter Island and Indiantown. Martin County is split into 5 districts, with 1 commissioner for each district and all registered voters in the county are able to vote on all 5 of these commissioners. There are approximately 150,000 people in Martin County, so that is roughly 1 commissioner per 30,000 people. Read more about the Martin County Commissioners here.
Should we successfully incorporate, the Town of Hobe Sound would be divided among 5 districts. We would initially have 1 council person per 3,000 people. The small town feel would stay the same, and your voice would be heard. Change can only occur within the Town limits by its' own citizens. We would ALL be responsible for the Future of Hobe Sound.
You can stay up to date with more information by joining our email list here. We will also be posting press releases here.
Common Questions about Incorporation:
1) Does Hobe Sound meet the required criteria for incorporation?
Compact, contiguous, near no other city, home to 5,000 people, at a density of 1.5 per acre, boundaries established.
2) Why should Hobe Sound Incorporate?
Incorporation will ensure self-determination and home rule. As a Town, Hobe Sound will elect 5 council persons instead of the current one County Commissioner that is elected by the entire County. That's right. Currently our District 3 Hobe Sound Commissioner is elected by voters in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Stuart, Indiantown as well as voters in Hobe Sound. Once Hobe Sound is incorporated, only Hobe Sound residents would have the honor of voting in their elected officials.
3) What are the proposed boundaries?
Northern boundary would be Osprey Street and extend south to JD State Park, east to the River and west to 138th Street. Click here to view the Map of proposed Limits.
4) Will my services suffer?
BJM Consulting examined ALL existing levels of taxation and fees currently charged by Martin County.
This analysis ensured NO change in any of the service levels presently being provided by Martin County to Hobe Sound.
5) Will my taxes increase?
BJM Consulting examined ALL existing levels of taxation and fees currently charged by Martin County. The findings in the 5 year feasibility report show ZERO increase in current tax load.
6) Where will the Town's Revenue come from?
As a resident of unincorporated Hobe Sound, you currently pay taxes and fees to Martin County. Those exact same taxes and fees would be redirected to the newly formed Town. In fact, after the initial feasibility study, it was determined that the Town of Hobe Sound's budget may have some monies left over.
7) How can I support the Bill of Incorporation?
Sign the Petition! Make a Donation of any size to help fund the in-depth feasibility study for the future Town of Hobe Sound.
8) How can the Town afford Police and Fire with our taxes not increasing?
Government Lite. This is a fairly new process that has made small towns like us possible. We will contract any or all services with the county (or whatever agency we like). This includes Fire, Police, Roads, etc.
The feasibility study will contemplate no increases in existing tax rates. The services provided by the County will be negotiated on an annual basis and must be approved by both the County and the Town so the County cannot raise the fees at their sole discretion. The Town has the option of going out to the private sector, or another government to provide these services. It has been the experience of other communities who have recently incorporated that their County government has been willing to continue to provide the services at a competitive rate.
9) Becoming a Town will cause our taxes to increase because we have to build the infrastructure to support our Town employees.
The study shows that we would only need 5 full time employees. We can rent space from the many vacant office space available. We can also contract with other building departments to use their facilities for our building department. These costs were included in the 5 year feasibility study.
10) I'm not included in the proposed boundaries. How can I become a part of the Town of Hobe Sound?
Once the town becomes official which will be after the residents vote in either August or November of 2017, the town will be a Town on December 31, 2017. After 3 months, you can become "annexed" into the Town of Hobe Sound. Voluntary annexations are covered by State law and as long as the area proposed for annexation meets the requirements of being continuous to the Town, is compact, and does not create an enclave of unincorporated land the County does not have a lot of say in the process. In the mean time you would continue to live in unincorporated Hobe Sound as you do now.