Friday, July 29, 2016

[Re-post] Instruction for reporters who care, both print and TV news: What Is and What Is Not the City of Lake Worth

What follows, in detail, is the definitive instruction on the municipal borders of the City of Lake Worth. Given recent articles and false headlines in The Palm Beach Post and TV news too, it's once again time to re-post this information. For example, use this link for a list of false news reports that will be updated soon. And a question, don't newsrooms have maps?

When a news report claims "Lake Worth" as the location of a crime, for instance, many conclude that this happened in the City of Lake Worth. That ends up being the public's perception, to the detriment of the image that we are trying to build. After all, we are proudly different from those vast areas that reach all the way to the turnpike, and south toward Boynton Beach. All of those places with a Lake Worth mailing address are in the unincorporated area of Palm Beach County.

Gather 'round news media. Enter the world of "on-line classroom" as you are about to receive a Master Class on what IS Lake Worth and what IS NOT Lake Worth.
Note the orientation of this Lake Worth Zoning Map. North is clearly to the right. The areas with color are in the City of Lake Worth. Areas in white are either suburban Lake Worth, Lantana, or West Palm Beach, to name a few. Note that Lake Worth is bordered (with a few exceptions) by water on three sides: the Lake Worth Lagoon, C-51 Canal, the E-4 (Keller) Canal, and John Prince Park (Lake Osborne). I'll deal with the southern border later. This is the area governed by the Lake Worth City Commission.

To keep it simple we'll deal with the City of Lake Worth in two parts: the North and South. For this discussion we'll divide Lake Worth in half at Lake Worth Road. Here is a Google map of north Lake Worth:
As you can see, the C-51 Canal is the northern border of Lake Worth and the western border roughly follows the E-4 Canal. The dashed red line denotes the border of the city. Note the southwestern area of the map. This is referred to by many as the Park of Commerce. As time goes by, some or most of these areas will be annexed into the city. This is one area of the city where the news media can be given some leeway in their reporting. The following is a zoning map of the Park of Commerce. It's ragged edge allows for some ambiguity. Note areas that are in the City and other areas that are unincorporated and governed by Palm Beach County (in white):
Class, let us proceed to the southern part of Lake Worth. Here is a Google map that shows the boundaries of south Lake Worth. The western border is Lake Osborne Drive until you come to High Ridge Road. Once on High Ridge Road though the city border ends on Lake Geneva Drive, heading east. In the southeast part of the city, the city border is 18th Ave South.

Added later: As people are reading this, some have noticed that it says southern Lake Worth ends at Lake Geneva Dr. But it's actually the next street, Nanette, that divides properties on one side of the street as Lake Worth and properties across the street as unincorporated PBC.
Like the western part of Lake Worth, the southern area has some anomalies also. The most interesting is this one:
There happens to be a small part of unincorporated county within the City of Lake Worth. This is called a "finger" in this configuration, or an "enclave" when it is surrounded on all sides by a municipality. If you happen to drive down Lake Osborne Drive and turn onto Collier Ave you are in the City of Lake Worth (the 2100 block). If you continue to the next block east on Collier Ave (the 2000 block) you are now in the county once again (shown in white with surrounding shaded areas). The white square area south of Collier Ave is called the Sunset Property. It should be permanently shown in gray in honor of its limbo status.

I conclude the session with this: With a few exceptions and some curious anomalies, the border of the City of Lake Worth is clear. Anything outside of Lake Worth should be referred to as either "Suburban Lake Worth" or "Unincorporated Palm Beach County". Just because somebody has a Lake Worth mailing address is insignificant, misleading and detracts from whatever "brand building" the city is trying to do.

If you're not sure if you're in the City or not? Ask somebody. Or go to the property appraiser's website and do a search for your property or any property in question. Look at the first two digits of the parcel identification number. If the first two digits of the group of numbers is "38" - congratulations! That property is in the City of Lake Worth. If the first two digits are "00" - congratulations! That property is in unincorporated Palm Beach County. When there are any other numbers other than those as the first two digits, the property is in another "incorporated" area, meaning it is within the limits of a city.

This is where you cue the discussion on whether or not we should change the city's name to Lake Worth Beach, Jewel or another name. I think that discussion will continue on for a while before anything is done about it.

To the media who cares, the citizens of the City of Lake Worth would appreciate your cooperation and factual reporting. Learning the importance of where you are reporting from would have been covered in your journalism classes, no?

Class dismissed. Say tuned for a more intricate discussion of utility services areas that do not match municipal boundaries!