Monday, July 20, 2015

My resignation letter from the Lake Worth Historic Resource Preservation Board last week

[I am still getting contacted by people who've heard about my resignation last week and have questions. I would direct them to my blog post and their concerns are allayed (assuming since I haven't heard back from them). If you have any questions or concerns please read the letter and feel free to email me if you wish. Thank you, Wes.]

July 16, 2015

Lake Worth City Commission
7 North Dixie Highway
Lake Worth, Florida 33460

Dear Mayor and Commissioners:

It is with regret I submit my resignation from the Historic Resource Preservation Board (HRPB). Currently there are many professional responsibilities that require my attention. Resigning from the HRPB is regretfully necessary in order to pursue those professional commitments.

During my 23 years in Lake Worth I have been honored to serve on many volunteer boards. My first experience was the former Leisure Services Advisory Board. It was an opportunity to learn about Lake Worth and meet other residents who were working very hard to improve our City. That board’s focus was the municipal pool at the beach, the need to heat the pool, and how to bring swim teams in from other areas to use it.

Prior to the public general obligation bond referendum in 2002, I was part of the Beach Steering Committee where we worked with residents, existing tenants, and planning professionals for what was conceived as a city-designed and city-run redevelopment of the beach property.

The advisory board upon which I served the longest was the Planning, Zoning and Historic Resource Preservation Board. During my tenure we created the six historic districts within the City, reviewed many development projects and proposals, and orchestrated a “zoning in progress” that allowed the City to rein in development during the early 2000’s boom era.

While on the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), I made the motion for the CRA to apply for the $23 million NSP2 federal grant program. The city commission at the time could have applied for the grant but expressed no interest in doing so. As a result of the Lake Worth CRA’s NSP2 grant award many City residents benefited and households were improved that would otherwise not have been. The money also created the LuLa Artist Lofts, new homes, and many other projects around the City.

Most recently I was a member of the HRPB, serving as its Chairman for the last three years. We were able to approve quality residential renovation projects in keeping with the City’s historic character and played a role in the continual adjustment and refinement of the City’s land development regulations. I thank the staff of the Department of Community Sustainability for their professional support of the board’s important work and the interaction with applicants that came before the board.

I am truly honored and grateful for the opportunity to serve the City in various appointed roles over the years and will continue to remain active in the community. I strongly urge the city commission to take the role of advisory boards seriously and to utilize their skills, knowledge, and counsel. In conclusion, I will continue to make myself available for those with questions, concerns, or observations concerning historic preservation, planning or zoning in the City of Lake Worth.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve our City.

Respectfully submitted,


Wes Blackman, AICP
241 Columbia Drive
Lake Worth, Florida 33460

c: Michael Bornstein, Lake Worth City Manager
    William Waters, Director of Community Sustainability