Tuesday, October 3, 2017

“Cannabis”! “Marijuana”, medical “dispensary” and a “charter school” too. Oh My. Where? It’s in “Lake Worth”!

However. . .

Did you know 85 more units of affordable housing may be coming to Lake Worth? This will be a topic at the Planning & Zoning (P&Z) meeting tomorrow.

If you recall, this item was on the agenda at the September P&Z meeting that was cancelled due to Hurricane Irma (see excerpts from the agenda below).

Remember, over and over again we’ve been told by the editor at the Post how important it is for cities to step up and address the housing affordability crisis. Hopefully the editor has a reporter available to cover this news story tomorrow which will be of great interest County-wide to policy-makers and others on the front line addressing this important issue.

But don’t hold your breath. Talking about affordable housing, it seems, sells a lot more newspapers than reporting on the mundane efforts to actually go about doing it. News about the actual construction of new affordable housing gets lost in all the noise to try and sell a few more newspapers.

For example, noise like medical marijuana!

The topic of medical marijuana dispensaries in the City of Lake Worth has been reported quite extensively. Just a few of the reports are from the Post’s business reporter, Jeff Ostrowski, a very well-written article about this from back in July, County reporter Wayne Washington had another article soon afterwards, then came that editorial on August 27th about a nearby Charter school which had everybody scratching their heads, then a few days later a beat reporter had more ‘news’ which wasn’t really news at all, just Cliff Notes rehashing what everyone knew already.

This topic has been well-covered.
The public was informed.

However, thus far Frank Cerabino hasn’t chimed in with any satire about all this. Yet.

But, whilst on the subject of satire, did you know right down the street from that charter school, just about 2000′ away, is a crematorium that made news in the Post last March for, “Smoke complaint at Lake Worth Crematorium gets health review”? Now that’s good satire about smoke. And it’s true too.

Anyhow. . .

Following that editorial in the Post last August about THAT marijuana dispensary here in the City — an editorial that fell hard like a lead balloon (pardon the pun, balloons can be a sensitive topic) — it might be a good gesture on the part of the editor to take note of something that’s happening at the P&Z board meeting tomorrow: 85 units of affordable housing for “low to very low-income families in the area” will be on the agenda.

The Lake Worth P&Z Board meets the first Wednesday of every month, 6:00, at City Hall:

Members review site plans and make recommendations to the City Commission for the development of residential (≥3 units) and all commercial properties.

Here is Item H1 (New Business) on the agenda:

Consideration of a request for Major Site Plan Approval for a 85 unit multi-family complex on a +/- 183,453 square foot site located in the Low Density Multi-family (MF20) Zoning District, with a Future Land Use Map designation of Medium Density residential (MDR). . .

Background/Proposal [excerpt with highlights]:

The proposed Banyan Court multifamily apartment community will be located in Lake Worth at 315 North A Street, 1716 3rd Ave N, 1731 4th Avenue North and 1737 4th Avenue North, just east of Interstate 95 and ¼ mile from the Lake Worth Tri-Rail stop. The current zoning is MF-20, with a land use designation of MDR. Existing uses include a church on one parcel, a small building with associated parking lot, and a single family rental home, with vacant land on the balance of the site. Banyan Court will consist of 85-units of affordable, transportation-oriented, rental housing in four separate three-story, concrete, garden-style walk-up apartment buildings. One of the buildings will include an attached one-story clubhouse. Over 10% of the site is a conservation easement protecting a magnificent old-growth banyan tree. Banyan Court will serve low to very low-income families in the area, with 100% of the units set aside for families making incomes at or below 60% of Area Median Income (AMI). Additionally, 10% of the units will be set aside for families making 33% of AMI. Because of the location, the residents will have easy access to jobs and community services they may need while also contributing to local businesses.

To review this agenda item yourself, use this link and scroll down for “Planning & Zoning Board” and then click on “Agenda” for October 4th. When the download is complete, proceed to pp 38–71 to check out all the renderings and much more information.

Who knows, maybe even the beat reporter for the Post will write something about this? But probably not. The keywords “cannabis”, “marijuana”, “dispensary”, and “charter school” are still getting way too many clicks right now to give up just yet.