Saturday, June 30, 2007

Sexist Image Used by We Love Lake Worth, Inc....

The above image (labeled "LW Hottie" and referred to as a "pin-up girl") is being used by We Love Lake Worth, Inc. on their (non-operable links, and all) website to promote their cause. Click here before they take it down - hope they do, and soon.

Also notice the "Lake Worth Beach, Florida" tag - a left-over from the Dorsey/Exline era debacle of changing our City's name. Guess we know where the cash came from that paid for this.

For information on other examples of sexist images in advertising and boycotts of companies using those images, please check out the following links:


Click here for Understanding Prejudice.org.

Here's another

Click here for Wikipedia's explanation of Sexual Objectification.

The following is back-up for an item on adding sexual identity and expression to our Civil Right Rights Ordinance in Lake Worth. The item will be on the July 3, 2007 agenda.





Friday, June 29, 2007

Where does our water come from...



Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Coastal Construction Control Line...What is it?

You might have noticed the line running across the site plan showing the beach redevelopment plans anticipated with the City's public/private partnership with Greater Bay. That line, highlighted above, is the Coastal Construction Control Line (CCCL). Much has been made of this line by Commissioner Jennings - part of her "managed retreat" approach and her call for an increased setback for the building.

I have provided links and quotes from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and references to State statues below. Nothing prevents buildings from being built seaward of the the CCCL. There is a permit process that is administered by DEP that reviews the type of construction and the public impact of such construction. Their goal is to ensure that should a catastrophe happen - in the form of a major storm event, for example - that the building would still be there. Usually what is requested is that the building be built on pilings - which are concrete cylinders that rest on rock structures underneath the surface. Concrete for the slab itself has to be of a special mixture as well; one that is especially dense. Pipes and conduit have to be installed with "hangers" underneath the slab, should part or all of the sand beneath the building be washed away. I know this from experience as I was project manager for just such a complex - seaward of the CCCL and about 15 feet from a seawall.

While not part of the CCCL construction standards, the buildings - due to this project's location on the barrier island - have to meet a structural sustained wind standard of 140 m.p.h. Heaven help the City of Lake Worth or Palm Beach County if we have to suffer through that kind of storm. The devastation on the mainland would be severe and reconstruction of homes, businesses and basic infrastructure would be the primary and all-consuming focus in the storm's aftermath.

But, by the rigid standards applied to the construction of the new Casino building, it would likely count itself among the more intact structures in the area. Think about the dismal prospect of our existing Casino building making it through a storm of equal strength. Then we really would have to do something to replace the derelict building there now.

Look up and down the barrier island and see what is the nearly universal "line of adjacent construction" that reflects the outer limit of what DEP will approve. I'll be posting examples of other coastal communities and their beaches as a comparison shortly.

Also, remember, that this project would have to apply for a permit through DEP and meet their standards. Check out what those are by hitting the last link in this post.

CLICK HERE FOR FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION (DEP) WEBSITE FOR INFORMATION ON ADMINISTRATION OF COASTAL CONSTRUCTION CONTROL LINE.

From the DEP website:

The Coastal Construction Control Line Program (CCCL) is an essential element of Florida's coastal management program. It provides protection for Florida's beaches and dunes while assuring reasonable use of private property. Recognizing the value of the state’s beaches, the Florida legislature initiated the Coastal Construction Control Line Program to protect the coastal system from improperly sited and designed structures which can destabilize or destroy the beach and dune system. Once destabilized, the valuable natural resources are lost, as are its important values for recreation, upland property protection and environmental habitat. Adoption of a coastal construction control line establishes an area of jurisdiction in which special siting and design criteria are applied for construction and related activities. These standards may be more stringent than those already applied in the rest of the coastal building zone because of the greater forces expected to occur in the more seaward zone of the beach during a storm event.
CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION REGARDING CRITERIA USED TO ISSUE A PERMIT FOR CONSTRUCTION SEAWARD OF THE COASTAL CONSTRUCTION CONTROL LINE.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What will Greater Bay be building at the Beach?


Above is a color copy of the illustrative site plan showing the Lake Worth beach property with the buildings as proposed by Greater Bay. Note that this site plan has not been submitted by the City of Lake Worth (who would be the applicant for site plan review), it has not been reviewed by any City departments and has not been reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Board. Furthermore, it has not been reviewed by other permitting agencies such as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, South Florida Water Management District, etc.

Review by the City and the other permitting agencies will begin once private financing is secured for the project.

The table above lists the square footages assigned to the various structures that will be constructed at the beach. This information is an excerpt of the staff report to the City Commission regarding the land use and zoning for the property. The footprint of the pool will remain the same. The new Casino building, in the center of the site will have a footprint of approximately 20,000 square feet.

Do you see a shopping mall? Do you see any condos, townhouses or a hotel?

The square footage of buildings on the site represents 8.25% of the beach property and a building coverage (total amount of land covered by buildings) of 5.7% assuming an 18 acre total site. The remaining 94.3% consists of parking, pool, open green area, pedestrian and vehicular circulation.

Can one honestly claim that this represents "over-commericialization" of our public beach property?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Does this look like a shopping mall?

These are the floor plans for the new Casino building - as contained in the Development Agreement that was executed in October of last year. Above is the plan for the first floor area, with the parking deck west of the building. The building will be a total of 40,000 square feet and have two stories. Each floor will have around 20,000 square feet. (As a comparison, a medium size Publix has about 40,000 - all on one floor and no, that doesn't mean that a Publix will be at the beach) The first floor will have the leaseable area for tenants - you can also see the seating areas to the east that would presumably for restaurants, but could just be open air patio space. Retail square footage would be limited to 7,200 square feet - about equal to what is presently at the beach.


The drawing above is of the second floor, which will be occupied by the ballroom space. A ballroom has been part of the existing Casino building for many years. It has been out of commission since experiencing damage from Hurricane Wilma.

Think of scale here too - this will sit on an 18+ acre property.

Does this look like a shopping mall? Do you see any condos or a hotel?

The picture below is offered for comparison purposes only. It is the floor plan of a typical shopping mall and this is not proposed for the Lake Worth Beach:


(remember you can click on the images for greater detail)

Attempts to have a Rational Discussion re the Beach...

Prior to my show Truth Matters on Lake Worth Talk.com, a post was put up on the board as follows:

Jim,

I very much like what you have provided to Lake Worth. You have given the people a venue to voice their concerns, opinions, and ideas regarding local issues of importance.

However, your talk shows can use one specific BIG CHANGE. That change is to have BOTH sides of an issue represented. In other words, if you have two people hosting a talk show which is going to be about the beach issue, you should have one who is for the greater bay deal and one who is against it. It will result in a much more informative and perhaps lively discussion. No use in having two people speaking who are both cheerleaders for each other. Many national talk shows will have one right winger and one left winger next to each other discussing both sides of a particular issue. So please see if for one of your upcoming shows you can pick one "pro" and one "anti" for whatever issue is being discussed that day. I think the listeners will appreciate the debates no matter which side they are on.

Keep up the good work.

Jim Stafford (host of the website) replied:

During the election I had all the candidates on except former Mayor Drautz. I did not give my opinions and let them speak on any and all topics. Mr. Exline can speak to that. I designed Drew Martins web page and so on. Those that choose to paint me as one side do it because they want to. The last round table I tried in vain to find a pro-super majority person to come on and was turned down repeatedly by multiple individuals. As always the invitation is open simply send me and email and I will arrange it!

Jim Stafford
And then this response:

Jim,

Please try contacting the following Anti-Greater-Bay people for an interview:

Lynda Mahoney
Laurel Decker
Dee Mcnamara
Laurence Mcnamara
Cara Jennings
Jim McCauley
Drew Martin
Lori Witkin
Marc Drautz
Surely one of the above would want to voice their side of the issue.
And then this response from Jim:

I sent the following email to a majority of the people listed I didn't have contact information for two of them.

Email:

Good Day,

I would like to put a debate together over the beach project. One pro and anti Greater Bay to air in the near future. Wes Blackman has agreed to take the pro beach project side. If you interested please email me and we can work out the time and details.

Jim Stafford
561.201.1640
Talk.com Inc.
LakeWorthTalk.com
PalmBeachTalk.com

Then, Jim followed up with an e-mail to Jim McCauley:

I would be willing to do a one on one about your suit. I'm willing to limit the interview to pre-approved questions if you don't want to take calls and posts.

Jim Stafford
561.201.1640
Talk.com Inc.
LakeWorthTalk.com
PalmBeachTalk.com

That prompted a response from Jim McCauley as follows:

I am neither pro or anti Greater Bay. I only want the city to follow its 2003 charter amendment and allow the folks to vote. That is what my suit is about.
If you want someone who has strong feelings against the GB redevelopment I would suggest:
Denise Carereau
Lynn Anderson
Jo Ann Golden
Drew Martin
Bill Coakley
Laurie Decker
Annabeth Karson
Christopher McVoy
Keith Spenser
\\Jim McCauley

And, then Jim McCauley sent this e-mail out to the anti-group:

Jim Stafford is looking for an informed anti Greater Bay person to debate pro Greater Bay Blackman on his live show. If interested, give Jim a call.
JM

To which Lynn Anderson responded as follows:

FIRST OF ALL, Jim Stafford must really understand that we are NOTagainst Greater Bay per se. What we are against is commercializationof our beach and the fact that the City of Lake Worth did not allowthe people to vote on what happens to their beach...that the city did an end run around the will of the people and the spirit of the vote from a few years ago. Until he realizes WHAT we are objecting to,there can be no debate. L. Anderson
Jim Stafford responded thusly:

Lynn,
A debate would involve many questions from the terms of the contract to the firm executing the contact to alternatives to the proposed site plan. The focus would be on the property. My current thinking is to post a thread a day or two in advance to allow users to submit questions. Place the questions in a fish bowl and have the participants pull them at random alternating back and forth.

Jim Stafford

Jim forwarded this e-mail string to me and I responded with the e-mail below:

Well, I am not FOR Greater Bay, per se.

I am for a project that will allow continued public access to our beach, one that removes the maintenance burden from the City, one that replaces our derelict Casino building with a building that is better able to survive storms, one that re-establishes a ballroom at the beach, one that is able to attract tourist dollars to our City, one that maintains an adequate green park area, one that allows the City to retain title to the land, one that allows the City to inherit the building in 20 years, one that is not a shopping mall and limits the retail square footage to 7,200 s.f., one that employs elements of the original architecture from the 1920s casino, one that is built according to the guidelines administered by the Department of Environmental Protection for construction seaward of the Coastal Construction Control Line, one that does not include a residential or hotel component, one that allows the City to fix inadequacies in the land use and zoning designation for the property and one that has the prospect of bringing this City together - my support isn't necessarily limited to the Greater Bay project.

In short, I am about putting forward the truth.

Maybe this will entice someone from that group for a discussion.

Wes Blackman
And, now, Jim Stafford forwarded my response to Jim McCauley and to date, there has been no response. I will let you know what happens.