Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Landscape Regulations: The public complained and they demanded change. Your City Commission listened.

And the timing couldn’t be better to address landscape regulations in the City of Lake Worth.

Is this topic of interest to you? The please take note.

At the Lake Worth Planning & Zoning Board meeting last Wednesday after some discussion the board seemed pleased with the changes made. Tomorrow at City Hall, 6:00, the revised Landscape Regulations will go before the Historic Resource Preservation Board (HRPB) for review (see public notice below). After the HRPB tomorrow the proposed Landscape Regulations will go before the City Commission once again for a public meeting date to be determined.

Also of note next Saturday (Feb. 16th) is the annual Tree Festival. The theme for this year’s festival is “Make Lake Worth Cool!”

Yes, everyone loves shade trees. Shade trees are not the issue. As hurricanes Irma and Michael have demonstrated the issue is public safety and where shade trees are located: away from power lines, roadways, sidewalks and underground utilities.

In short the issue comes down to, “Balancing shade vs. public safety in hurricane-prone South Florida”.

And for quite a long time the public that has been demanding understandable, concise, and palm tree-friendly landscaping rules. For those who enjoy palm trees this blog post will provide some very encouraging news.

But that is if the public shows up to make their voice heard once again.

Everyone takes a sigh of relief on December 1st when Hurricane Season ends. But if you’ve been following the updates you would know this year’s Vegetation Amnesty Week is from May 27th–31st. Because on June 1st begins another Hurricane Season. And that’s why storms and trees will be a very big issue at the Festival of Trees later this month.

If and when a new landscape ordinance is adopted it will need the approval of the public. And that will be a “Big If ”. It will all depend on how many of the overbearing and onerous regulations are lined out. If not enough then all this could quite possibly go back to Square One once again.

And also “Worth Noting”.

All the City logos with a palm tree!

The revised landscape ordinance will restore honor to the palm tree! True. The palm tree is not really a tree. But the public loves them anyhow!

If a new landscape ordinance is ultimately approved by the City Commission there will follow a massive public information campaign to get the word out to the public and the business community.

This entire kerfuffle began last October at Lake Worth City Hall. When the City Commission first got a good look at the newly proposed landscape regulations one could say, “All hell broke loose.” The electeds told staff to go back and start all over again. Then in early January the proposed landscape ordinances came back to the Commission and the electeds on the dais said not good enough. Get back to work. To read all about that click on this link.

Now the process will begin all over once again. First through the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) board and then the Historic Resources Preservation Board. Then it will go on to the City Commission for First Reading and then later Second Reading before the ordinance is adopted. Or not.

Without further ado . . . a public notice published in the Lake Worth Herald:

Make YOUR voice heard!

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE: Historic Resources Preservation Board in the City Hall Commission Chambers, 7 North Dixie Highway, in said City at 6:00 PM, or as soon thereafter as possible, on February 13 [TOMORROW], 2019.

To consider the following:

Ordinance 2019-XX: An ordinance of the City of Lake Worth, Florida, amending Chapter 23 “Land Development Regulations” by amending Article I “General Provisions” relating to Division 2, Section 23.1-12 “Definitions”, by amending Article 6 “Environmental Regulations”, Section 23.6-1 “Landscaping Regulations”. . .

The entire public notice in The Lake Worth Herald was published in issue dated January 24th, issue No. 4, 2019.

Please Note: For additional information on this topic visit the City of Lake Worth Division of Planning, Zoning and Historic Preservation located at 1900 Second Ave. North or contact City Staff at 561-586-1687.