Thursday, January 7, 2016

More on the Gulf Stream hotel vote by the Lake Worth City Commission from The Lake Worth Herald and The Palm Beach Post

First off, there was a huge turnout at the City Commission meeting in support of the Gulf Stream hotel and their rezoning request. And these people showed up and stayed well past 8:00 p.m. on a weekday on a cold and drizzly south Florida night. That is a huge statement and can't be ignored. The first report in the Post made no mention of this and am happy to say the latest and final edition does report on the number of folks that came out to support our historic Gulf Stream hotel; more on that later.

Below are two excerpts from The Lake Worth Herald on last Tuesday's City Commission vote to save the Gulf Stream hotel:
     Lake Worth City Commissioners held a quazijudicial hearing on zoning changes for a portion of the property belonging to the Gulfstream Hotel.
     The zoning change will allow Hudson Holdings to add an additional five story hotel building and a two story parking garage.
     Residents and business owners testified before the commission both pro and con the zoning change.
     Ralph Brooks, an attorney representing Roseann Malatakes, a neighbor of the Gulfstream property and Linda Mahoney and Andrew Swain who live one block away from the property, testified before the commission that he disagrees with City Attorney Glen Torcivia who opined state statutes prohibited the Building Heights Referendum held in Lake Worth because it was a charter amendment.
     The majority of those opposing the zoning change based their testimony on the referendum. The referendum was never filed with the state by the City because State Statutes prohibited the charter amendment. [emphasis added]
[and. . .]
     The ordinance passed by a 3-2 vote with Commissioner Christopher McVoy basing his dissension on the referendum position taken by Brooks and Commissioner Ryan Mayer dissenting without comment.
The "heights vote" was declared "null and void" by the state legislature. Read more about that here and also learn about the debunked myth about the "overwhelming" support to limit the heights around the Gulf Stream hotel which was anything but "overwhelming".

Here is an excerpt from the Post article on last Tuesday's (1/5) quasi-judicial hearing:
     As expected, City Hall’s commission chamber was packed, with many residents lined up outside to listen or weigh in on an issue that has, on occasion, divided the city.
     Most in attendance were in favor of the plan to transform the six-story, 106-room Gulf Stream [emphasis added], opened in the 1920s, but vacant the past 10 years, into an 87-room hotel with a downstairs restaurant, a champagne room and a rooftop skybar. The Delray Beach developer [Hudson Holdings] would manage the Gulf Stream along with the restaurant and bar.
     “This is something that’s missed in downtown,” said Barbara Aubel, one of two dozen residents who spoke. “I hope we don’t get in the way of the project. We need this to be a better area and an active building, not just a hulk of an old hotel that should be in a horror movie.”
Going forward we're going to need people to keep SHOWING UP! at meetings. This was a remarkable turnout and it made a huge impact. Remember, there are at most 10–12 people who are the hardcore trying to send the Gulf Stream hotel on a date with the wrecking ball. Don't let them be the only ones at City meetings claiming to be the voice of "the people"
Thank You everyone for SHOWING UP!

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