Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Reside in City of Lake Worth? Know what the POC is? For daily readers of this blog it’s important to remember. . .


. . . there are many new residents of the City of Lake Worth who know nothing of the Park of Commerce (POC), an issue we’ve been dealing with for decades. That’s the reason why blog posts like this one are re-posted every now and then.

Anyhow, about that place called the POC. . .


Last March Florida Gov. Rick Scott DID NOT veto a bill which included $1.4M in this year’s state budget for the POC which made Vice Mayor Pro Tem Scott Maxwell very happy. This item in previous budgets was lined-out three times in a row by the governor three years in a row. Let’s just say former State Senator Jeff Clemens wasn’t entirely helpful and just leave it at that.

And just a few years ago the POC was, according to a former ‘reporter’ at WPEC/CBS12 (no, not Jonathan Beaton!) was the site of a “forced relocation” akin to the internment camps for Japanese-Americans during WWII and a news report in The Palm Beach Post had to be retracted as well. But most recently you may recall the “Boutwell Road Groundbreaking Ceremony” last month and prior to that news about the Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant for $1.4 million.

Many involved and/or long-time residents of this City recall well the POC over the years and efforts to do something, anything, to have that prime piece of commercial real estate add tax dollars to our City’s coffers.

Is the POC a new idea? The answer is No.
Not even close.

Past city commissions have tried, and failed, to make this area (see map below) a major contributor to the City’s commercial tax base giving homeowners less of a burden. Some former electeds were so desperate to have something happen in the POC, anything, even a chicken farm was suggested. Luckily, that idea didn’t go far.

The POC one could say has had its share of “ups and downs” over the years which included floods, overflowing canals, mobile home residents fleeing ahead of major storms, crime, pestilence, and also home to many wonderful French-Canadian Snowbirds each Fall/Winter season and persistent talk of voters too with out-of-state vehicles who miraculously appeared every year just in time to send in their absentee ballot.


Welcome to the “Lake Worth Park Of Commerce”:
This image will surprise many of you and is explained later in this blog post.

New residents in this City, if they’re not cautious where they get their information from, will be misinformed by ‘facts’ on other blogs, social media, or even news reporters that don’t understand the entire story.  So where exactly is the POC?


By the way, the POC lies within the Lake Worth Drainage District although most of the City does not.
To see this map for yourself go to the Citys zoning map. And while you’re at it you can see how your neighborhood is zoned.


In the map above is the POC: Roughly it’s the dark shaded area west of Boutwell Rd., east of the E-4 (Keller) Canal, north of Lake Worth Rd. (the County’s John Prince Park) and south of 10th Ave. North. Now that you understand where the POC is, how long has this been a matter of debate in the City?

Let’s look at one example of many (the first image above is the front cover of this “Citizens’ Master Plan”).

Click on image to enlarge:
The Lake Worth Park of Commerce Citizens’ Master Plan, Charrette Draft Report prepared by the TCRPC in October 2001.

Over sixteen years ago. I have this original report prepared by the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC); if you would like to borrow it let me know (my email address is wesblackman@gmail.com).


Here is another image from the report:
Recognize anyone? Ever heard of a gentleman named Dana Little?

There are names throughout this document many of you will recognize. Enjoy this charming video I did of the POC back in 2014, a small area in the City of Lake Worth with so much potential, “the P-word” if you will: