Saturday, April 11, 2009

City Commission Meeting 4/13 @ 5:30 p.m. re Beach and Michael Singer Recommendation

It looks like more sneakiness on the part of the city. There is a workshop meeting to review the recommendations from Michael Singer Studios regarding the beach site plan. The Clerk's office sent out the agenda to whoever is on their list yesterday - but if you go to the City's website, the latest agenda is from April 7. I managed to get a copy of a site plan - there might be other versions as this one is labeled V06 (which one presumes means a sixth version.) There is no copy or other information available on the City's website. There is also nothing available at the Michael Singer website.

So, this says to me that the City Commission really does want to have the public either know what is going on or is discounting the input that the public may have on the recommendation. Why all the secrecy? (you can click on the image below for a zoomed in view)

My list of questions and concerns are these:
  • This cost the city $25,000 - did we get our money's worth? I don't think so.
  • This completely "punts" on the building placement issue - by showing the building in the same place as it is now leads one to believe that the building will be rehabbed as part of the project. Do we have an accurate estimate re the cost of doing either a new building or rehabbing the old? Oh, that's right - we have Straticon helping on the estimates - excuse the sarcasm, but that's not objective.
  • If the existing building is used - where is the loading space, dumpster etc.?
  • Look at the crazy traffic circle just north of the building - how would that work in real life?
  • It looks like the tenants have had their say in the creation of this plan - notice the employee parking is intact to the west of the building.
  • The designers still insist on calling the hill at the beach property the "dune" - which gives it inflated environmental importance that it shouldn't have. In actuality, it was the barrier island's western shoreline before the area west of the casino building was filled in after WWII. The barrier island was very narrow here before.
  • They got away without a parking garage by more efficiently laying out the parking area to preserve the amount of parking spaces required by the County - while opening up more green space. This is a worthwhile approach usually, but the angle parking makes me wonder how easy it will be to unload beach gear from vehicles parked next to each other. And then you got to hike.
  • The road nearest the beach has been moved further west and so has the parking area on the east side of the property. I am sure that some people will feel strongly that is a mistake.
  • What are all the miscellaneous buildings springing up between the road/parking area and the seawall? Remember Commissioner Jennings being so concerned about miscellaneous buildings at the beach? How soon some forget. These are all seaward of the Coastal Construction Control line - as is the existing casino building.
  • There is also no access in between the north and south property lines along A1A - why?
  • How are the engineering estimates coming along on drainage, water, sewer and electric? I hear there is a big dollar figure there that the city is firm on.
  • There is a small dotted line goes across the HILL and is labeled "accessible trail." Really? Does it really meet the grade and surface requirements for accessibility?
These are just my initial thoughts. I will e-mail this to the Commission, Mayor and staff. I have a meeting already scheduled for Monday at 6 p.m. If you can make it, I encourage you to attend.