Saturday, October 1, 2016

So sad. The architecture, structure, and amenities the little City of Lake Worth could have had at the Beach

On the heels of the latest news (scroll down or use this link) about our municipal pool at the Beach being closed. . .

If you've read this blog, the Herald, and other reports you know the Lake Worth Casino complex and pool are a story again, and not in a good way. All these years of mishaps and embarrassments could have been avoided. Instead of the Casino adding money to our City's tax base it's the other way around now. To make matters even worse some want to raise electric rates to clean up this mess:
That's right. As recently at August 9th (at a City Commission workshop) the same answer to every problem: "raise rates".

Instead of a functional, visually stunning Casino complex such as in the image below. . . thanks to Commissioner McVoy, former commissioners Cara Jennings, JoAnn Golden et al we're instead left with a boondoggle.
This is the Greater Bay site plan. Note the Casino is located in the center of the property with a new pool north of the building. 

Most people are aware there are a multitude of problems at the Casino complex. What most don't know is the basic flaw of the Casino is the very same flaw the previous structure had: THEY WERE BOTH BUILT IN THE WRONG PLACE. As in the image above, the plan by Greater Bay was to have the structure in the center of the property along with a parking garage. That way there are no ADA issues, nearly every parking spot is close to the building, and access for emergency vehicles is dramatically reduced. 

Any normal weekend at the beach and you can clearly see the flaw having the Casino on the north of the property. In addition, were the Casino in the center of the area a new building would have been constructed with pilings. The current building DOES NOT HAVE PILINGS.

A clear ocean vista is what one would have seen when cresting the bridge if the Greater Bay plan prevailed. Instead, what you see now is the back of a boxy building. How very charming.

The Greater Bay plan was for the new construction behind the Coastal Construction Control Line. I don't think I need to remind you that the City tore down the former building for the NEW casino building that exists today. The Greater Bay plan also shows a single deck parking area just west of the Casino building which would have provided direct access to both levels of the building. This site plan shows a total of 780 parking spaces and a significant amount of green area in the southeastern part of the property.

And guess what! The eyesore of a pool building is gone with this site plan. Unfortunately, this planor worthy elements of itwere never allowed to see the light of day in terms of being formally reviewed by the city.

You could say this plan by Greater Bay (which you were never shown) cost the City around $2.5 million$1.6 million in a settlement payment to Greater Bay and around $900,000 in legal fees defending the City's indefensible position. It also represents a high degree of opportunity costs: we have to live with a less functional beach property now and deal with the consequences.

We've all seen parents pushing strollers up the dune to get to the Casino, elderly struggling to make it to the top, and bridesmaids having to walk all the way from their parking spot trying not to sweat too much and it didn't have to be this way. A previous city commission failed us and now we all have to pay the price for their mistakes.
These are the 'visionaries' that have left us all with "egg on our faces". Now it's left to the current City Commission majority to fix all this mess.