Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Click here for link to Commissioner Jennings' Letter to DCA re LW Comprehensive Plan

There are so many things wrong about this, it's hard to know where to begin. This is a process that has been going on for four plus YEARS. First reading had already taken place with very little comment from the dais. The Planning and Zoning Board has met over and over on this, each time in public and accepted public comment at each level of review. Part of the public comment could, and should, have included comment from Commissioners and the Mayor. There have been plenty of opportunities. But at the very last minute, Commissioner Jennings' comes in ready to make substantial changes to the document, with the support of certain other Commissioners (eh hem.)

One of the major things wrong about this is that this letter is from one of the five elected people in the City - somehow that is supposed to be representative and authoritative?

One of the guiding principles of this re-write of our Comprehensive Plan was to reflect that height is a valuable commodity in Lake Worth - and that we want to restrict it in order to retain our unique character. As such, height was to be used as leverage to achieve many public benefits - the higher you want to go, the more public benefits you will have to provide. In order to be effective, the height that you allow must provide enough of an incentive so that the private sector is able to provide that public benefit. Restricting height to 3 stories or 35 feet - and providing public benefits - will not result in the desired end. The cost benefit ratio is weighted too heavily towards cost - there is no incentive for anyone to redevelop a piece of property under this scenario. It would be a "de facto" moratorium on redevelopment in Lake Worth - period. I guess that's what those in power want now as I have identified before in this forum.

Now, I understand that City Manager Stanton wants to slow down the approval of the Comprehensive Plan for even more public input. This is a product of the lack of institutional memory in City Hall - a major part of the $1 million spent on this master plan process was to ensure broad public involvement. I have never understood that Commissioners do not support our existing public meetings and encourage the public input process taking place at their own advisory boards.

And we still do not have a Comprehensive Plan that is in compliance.
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