I hope that most of you know that the Interlocal Agreement between the City of Lake Worth and Palm Beach County regarding $5 million for our Lake Worth Beach redevelopment will be on the next City Commission meeting agenda. The meeting will take place at the Lake Worth City Hall at 6 p.m. Tuesday, October 3rd. Click here to go to the City's website to see the back up material. Below is a pertinent excerpt from the transmittal letter to the City Commission explaining the implications and the structure of the interlocal agreement:
On another Internet discussion board - LakeWorthTalk.com - , I offered my opinion on the beach project as currently structured with Greater Bay. This is what I said:
We have the opportunity to improve our flagship beach property with someone else's money. We retain ownership. The beach property remains open to the public. The improvements are turned over to the City in 20 years. We receive lease payments over 20 years. We create a quality destination in Lake Worth - attracting tourist dollars. Our downtown economic condition improves due to increased interest in the beach. The world sees that Lake Worth is able to undertake an ambitious project and pull it off. This increases trust in City government and attracts other quality redevelopment projects. Morale of the residents improves and other long-standing problems are addressed.
What is not to like about the beach project?
Now, a few words about the site plan and process from here on out. The site plan is part of the exhibit related to the interlocal agreement in order for the County to be able to identify the parts that are eligible for County funding - the $5 million can only be used for non-revenue producing areas of the site. There are details related to the land use and zoning code that will be processed through the Planning and Zoning Board and the City Commission. There will be a thorough review of the site plan at the Planning and Zoning Board and public comment will be fielded and integrated into the plan.
There have been concerns expressed regarding the placement of parking for City of Lake Worth decal holders and the balance of parking being located on the west portion of the 18+ acre site. I am sure that there will be discussion on Tuesday night regarding both topics. I have talked to Peter Willard of Greater Bay, the private developer of the project. I am convinced that we can reach a solution that meets the needs and expectations of users of beach and particularly Lake Worth residents. The point that needs to be made is that Tuesday's meeting is not the end of the process. There will be plenty of opportunity for further refinement of the plan as we go forward as a community.
A couple words about the parking placement that we have at the beach today. It's current placement is really a vestige of the former placement of Ocean Boulevard (aka A1A). When the road was relocated from the more eastern location - which was essentially right in front of the current casino building (see picture with trolley), the parking pattern for beach-goers had already been established. We really have an opportunity now to be kinder the near beach area and reserve most of the car parking so that access is encouraged off of A1A and in so doing leave more un-programmed open space near the real beach.
Please - I would love to hear your thoughts on this now and as we go on into the future. You can use this site or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It really is our flagship public park property and should represent the best that Lake Worth can be. Redevelopment of the beach can really help raise the water for all boats.
"Political advertisement paid for and approved by Wes Blackman for Commissioner – District #3"