Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
City lifeguards had left for the evening about an hour and a half before the drowning, Public Services Director Joseph Kroll said today,
While it's not known if ocean conditions played a role in the drowning, Kroll said lifeguards had posted yellow flags and warned of high surf and rip currents much of the day.
Kroll, who was at the beach during the search for Thomas, said he saw 3-to-4-foot waves at the time.
"It was pretty rough all day there," Kroll said.
Anyone know when the laxt time we had a drowning at our beach?
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
As many of you may know, Staff attends construction meetings with our consultants, Burkhardt construction and their sub-consultants every week. These progress meetings help us become familiar with the construction schedule, inform us of possible issues that need to be addressed and provide us with tasks to be completed.
I thought the Board was able to gain a considerable amount of understanding regarding the project at the on-site workshop so I will provide the Board with updates via e-mail whenever possible so you are all kept abreast of the progress.
As of 4/14/09
The following work is being done on the north half of the road:
· Installation of street light poles
· Installation of band curbs at the corner features
South side work:
· Installation of concrete curb between Dixie and the RR
· Installation of utilities west of C Street
· Asphalt patchwork
· Installation of conduits to the concrete poles in the alleys
· Installation of road base in the alley near crematorium on 11th Avenue.
At the next regularly scheduled Board meeting, we will discuss the Dixie and 10th Avenue intersection and the light at 10th and “A.” We have a surveyor working on the specific area included within the CRA boundaries west of the 10th Avenue North and “A” intersection. Staff has already had discussion with Public Services on possible improvements east of the Lake Worth sign.
A Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) advisory is currently being approved by the City regarding a partial closure at “A” and 10th. Once approved, I will send this to the Board and it will be posted accordingly.
North “A” Street at 10th Ave will be closed 4/20-24/09 for water line repair. It will be closed all week. The attached MOT shows the proposed route. Please note the traffic will need to go to Dixie Hwy in order to get back to I-95. No left turns will be possible coming from the south onto 10th Ave North. Please feel free to forward this e-mail to anyone who you feel needs this information. Thanks for your patience.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Here's more direct from the Sheriff's office:
10 S. Ocean Blvd
|Location:||Compass Community Center|
201 North Dixie Highway
Lake Worth, FL
Click title for back-up - this is a RARE meeting between the Planning and Zoning Board, Community Redevelopment Agency and the City Commission. We will be reviewing the recommendations of the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council report on Transit Oriented Development. The report contains many other items in addition to the main topic - worth the read if you haven't done so yet. After this meeting, another is planned between the Planning and Zoning Board and the City Commission - regarding the Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Regulations which are a product of the now long-in-the-tooth master planning process.
Re-post from 3/24 - the last time the City Commission discussed building placement - build v. rehab at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday.
This is not news by any means. What is news to the Commission and something that they are not hearing is that to determine a "solid" cost to rehabilitate the building is not really possible.
They also don't seem to be focusing on the time factor. What seems to be a unifying theme is that the Fishkind study is preliminary at best, not that helpful in its current form and does not compare apples-to-apples - all things with which I agree.
Jeff Hardin of Straticon is going to work with Fishkind to generate "more precise" - read: more favorable for rehabilitation than new construction - estimates. Ends driven report on the way, apparently.
Commissioner Jennings left the phone connection at 1:20 p.m.
Shoring contractor item is an "invitation to bid" - not a "request for proposals." Estimated costs come to $40 to $70K to shore up the building. $20,000 has been spent on the shoring plans already and the architect/structural engineer is responding to comments from the building department. They want a technical memorandum and a threshold inspector will be needed through out the shoring construction period - could be disruptions of service - will need an inspection every 6 months. Staff's opinion is that the building needed to be closed to the public and evacuated. The only reason it will be open after 3/31 is due to the city going ahead with the shoring plan. Commissioner Lowe thinks this will be it - that's all that will be done to the building - Mayor Clemens seems concerned about the total cost.
Meeting ended at 1:40 p.m.
Comparison of existing conditions to "recommended" Michael Singer site plan - City Commission meeting today at 5:30 p.m.
Not too much difference between the two conditions. What the city would gain is more interior landscaping in the parking lot and a little more green-ish space by the seawall - in exchange for moving parking further to the west. No where is there a percentage comparison of green space between the existing and proposed plans. That should be a requirement in order to judge the benefits of the "recommended" plan. Does this plan represent a project worth $15 million (very low estimate if rehabilitation of the existing casino building is part of the task) or $25 million if you are realistic about the rehab cost of the existing building and the site work.
Is this the best we can do? Even though others would like you to believe that building placement is not that big an issue - it is.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
I have some input for you regarding the work Singer Studios has done.
I had the opportunity to talk with Jason on a lengthy telephone call.
Tomorrow's meeting was scheduled two weeks ago by the City Commission, and they instructed Singer Studios not to address the location of the Casino building. So I can see no secrecy in what the city is doing, nor any problem with the concept drawings not including the Casino building.
If it was scheduled two weeks ago, then why doesn't anyone know about it and why isn't it prominently on the city's website? Being a site planner - both on the creation end and the reviewing end - I have a major problem in not considering other placement of a building - as a new building is likely less expensive to build. It would also be more functional as modern needs like loading spaces, fire access, dumpster areas should all be considered. To not do so is giving the city an incomplete product. The decision has not been made. If it has already been made, then this is a charade and the public should be aware of it.
The dune is the high point of the island at this beach. No question about that. The back side of the dune has been changed over the years, but to call the high point of the island at our beach "the dune" is completely accurate in geologic and oceanographic terms.
Can you agree with me that the area to the west of the "hill" or "former dune line" - I'll go that far - was filled in as shown in this postcard from the time?
A traffic circle at the north end is one option that is on the table. One good reason for it is to allow buses to avoid driving the entire loop to drop off and pick up. Diesel fumes or buses blocking the view do not add much for the shoppers or beach goers. But the plan can be changed, so please provide your comments so they can be considered.
I see it as a sort of "confusion corner" - like the one in downtown Stuart. I am not sure of the turning radii at this scale, but I am not sure that a bus could make that turn north bound and if it is going southbound then are we saying that there is two way traffic here? Is that a permanent condition? I do not think a changeable circulation pattern is practical or safe even.
Parking on the south lot will be moved further from the ocean, and as a frequent user of that area for 40 years, I have no problem walking another 100 feet, especially with all the improvements planned for that 100 feet. And the first row of parking will face the ocean, a big improvement from what we have now.
You and I may not mind this, but there are others with very strongly held opinions that this represents a problem. I note that this parking area would be a likely candidate for a new building, as well. If that is the option the city chooses - a new building - then we need to know the implications in this area of the site.
The miscellaneous buildings are shade structures, because people did not want all the miscellaneous buildings described in some previous plans. One restroom facility was added on the south end, and I for one would appreciate not having to walk all the way to the pool to use the john. No other enclosed buildings are in Singer's designs.
These are all seaward of the coastal construction control line and seaward of the existing building - all of which represent problems for me and I am sure the State of Florida will be interested too. As well as the required upgrading of the existing building - pilings under the building, 140 mph windload requirements, ADA accessibility and bathroom issues, etc.
Unloading gear from diagonal parking spaces is easier and safer than other alignments.
Would you care to demonstrate?
Money for utilities has been discussed extensively between Singer Studios, city staff and Kimley Horn. Big ticket utility items have been discussed at length, and will be detailed at tomorrow's meeting so the public can have their say. From that point the Commission will direct Singer Studio and city staff on how to proceed.
I think what is going to be discovered is that the costs for those basic improvements - ones that are not seen or appreciated aesthetically to a great degree - will result in the minimal improvements represented on this plan.
The diagonal trail is being designed to ADA specifications. The direct sidewalk with steps remains.
1" rise for every 12" linear distance.
Placing design plans on the website for Singer Studios would present drawings that would immediately be considered "final", no matte how they were labeled. I'm sure they are aware of that, and I'm sure they will post drawings when designs are approved. Posting numerous "ideas" would cause people to jump to conclusions. I have already seen numerous drawings which have been modified based on stakeholder input, so I do not believe any tentative drawings should be posted until the Commission directs Singer Studios to post them. Hundreds of citizens have provided detailed comments, and I can see that those comments are being included in the drawings.
These designs clearly say DRAFT in big red letters. I am always in favor of erring on the side of providing more information whenever and wherever possible - dates of April 7 and 8 indicate that an effort could have been made to #1 promote the meeting and #2 get additional input from a wider section of the community. I am attempting to do my part.
I'm looking forward to the meeting tomorrow, and I am convinced that Singer Studios has already provided the city with an efficient, cost effective process for getting a plan to the County quickly, as required by the City Commission.
I see no reason to think otherwise.
I do think otherwise.
All the best,
However, this sort or writing is a little bit over the top for this issue - my opinion.
The ordinance proposed for the downtown business area would set a maximum noise level of 85 decibels from 6 p.m. until 3 a.m. and 65 decibels from 3 a.m. until 6 p.m. Measurements would be taken from the property line of the noise-generating property. The proposed ordinance also would allow enforcement without meters if the noise can be "clearly heard" 200 feet from the property line of the sound-generating property.
The issue here is not ear damage due to prolonged exposure outside to noise - it's about disturbing sleep or being a nuisance. It doesn't rise to creating fear about hearing loss if you live in or around downtown.
Prolonged or repeated exposure to sounds at or above 85 decibels can cause gradual hearing loss, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
Can we ratchet down the hysteria a little, please?
These are different traffic circulation and parking scenarios as suggested my Michael Singer Studios. Again, these would be subject to change should the city elect to build a new casino building rather than re-do the old. No consideration for placement of a new building was part of their task.
This will be presented at the SURPRISE meeting on Monday at 5:30 p.m. I don't know if the city could really handle this much flexibility in traffic flow - I think just having the various options would usher in chaos. But, maybe that is what some elected officials want.
Where is the art in these plans? Didn't we hire Michael Singer Studios without competitively bidding the work because "No one could do what they do?" - Commissioner Cara Jennings. Look at the site plan again in the previous post on this meeting - is this plan worth $5 million of county money and additional city time and investment? Is it worth the time and $25,000 we paid to have them put this together? Does this entice the County Commission to allow us to keep the $5,000,000?
What will the site work cost?