Monday, December 17, 2012

Delray's downtown project seen as catalyst for redevelopment

I know, I know.  We are not Delray Beach.  If you want further proof that we are NOT Delray Beach, click the title and read the article.  A few excerpts:
"Very seldom does a project garner the kind of support that the SOFA buildings have from nearby residents and business owners. At a recent City Commission meeting where the developer was asking to build more units than are normally allowed per acre, residents and business owners addressed city officials with an outpouring of support for the project."
The project was praised for its sustainability features: a bicycle sharing program for residents, unbundled parking — residents who do not own a car can qualify for lower rents — and 32 apartments set aside as workforce housing, with lower rents offered to firefighters, teachers, police officers and government workers.
"This is an example of how we should be doing business in Delray Beach," said Commissioner Al Jacquet, who lives in Osceola Park. "I'm in support of this project not just because of the [sustainability] component, but because these folks came and did it right."
I raised the concern during a recent joint Planning and Zoning Board and Historic Resource Preservation Board meeting that our "community benefit" requirement - which in theory would be the only way to allow new buildings to exceed two stories or 30 feet - may be the wrong medicine to administer to the patient.  It might in fact "do harm" and be exactly what we do not need to encourage investment, jobs and redevelopment in our city.