Friday, July 20, 2012

Out and about last night...

We enjoyed the hospitality of Laurel and Herman Robinson at a meet and greet for Bobby Powell, who is running for the District 88 State House seat.  He is the current legislative aid for Mack Bernard who is running for the State Senate seat for District 27.  Here we are looking at the newly drawn District 88.  My residence happens to be in the narrow area between Dixie and Federal Hwys that runs through the northern part of Lake Worth.  This area serves as a connector to larger areas farther west from Riviera Beach to Delray Beach. 

Mr. Powell has a background in Urban Planning (Masters from Florida State) and recently gained certification from the American Institute of Certified Planners.  He mentioned the Lake Worth Park of Commerce and how he has heard that resources are needed for infrastructure there to make it something that the city could actually market to prospective employers, manufacturers or service providers.  Commissioner Maxwell attended and underlined the importance of this need, during the question and answer session with the candidate.  How successful he will be in filling these needs for someplace that is actually outside his district will be something to watch.  I am afraid that some of Lake Worth's needs, such as this one, will appear on the priority list, but other areas in the district may fare better - just due to the "gerrymandered" shape of the district. 

Mr. Powell has three other opponents in the primary.  I was impressed by him and he has my support.

Streetscapes - Penn Station — Scapegoat in a Clamshell -

Interesting re-look at the modernist ticketing outlet in the former Penn Station in NYC.  The protest preceding the station's demolition is often pointed to as the birth of the historic preservation movement.  Click title for link to article.

Scapegoat in a Clamshell
Before Pennsylvania Station was reduced to rubble, the architect Lester Tichy designed a modernist ticket counter to revitalize its faded if majestic space.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Rotelli gets partial refund of parking impact fees in Lake Worth

This fee amounted to extortion on the city's part if did nothing with the money collected.  There are some that are concerned about the "community benefits" portion of the proposed land development regulations (LDRs) as being one and the same.  Click title for link tto PBP article.  Here is an outtake from it:
"Commissioners Suzanne Mulvehill and Christopher McVoy voted against the refund.
The city was planning to use the money to build a parking garage but had only $150,000 in the downtown parking impact-fee fund. William Waters, director of the community sustainability department, said the city has not collected much in parking impact fees because there has not been much expansion downtown in recent years."

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

In Denmark, Pedaling to Work on a Superhighway -

Denmark, already a cycling nation, is trying to encourage commuting to Copenhagen by bicycle by opening what it calls cycle superhighways.  Click title for link.

Under Commissioner Liaison Reports 7/17...

A lot of discussion on the internal auditor position vacancy.

City Commission deleting "Item G" from the 7/17/12 agenda

Jo-Ann Golden "... embarrassed by lack of leadership..."

Pot meet kettle.

City Commission Reaction to Public Comment on Unagendaed Items - 7/17/12

The Mayor's comments begin at about the 11:20 mark - she makes some strong points regarding the height issue.

In the face of defeat...

A smug Annabeth Karson at the podium last night tells the City Commission to bring it on.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

City Commission Meeting 7/17/12 Live

Big stink at the beginning of the meeting regarding the deletion of Item 12.G.  This was on a separate sheet as an add/delete available upon walking in to the meeting tonight.  It turns out that the required signatures were not provided by the PAC by 6 p.m. tonight, therefore the City couldn't "proactively" schedule a first reading as if the PAC made the deadline.  Of course, gaskets were blown by two members of dais.  I was able to get all but the first part of this exchange on video, which I will share tomorrow.  There was a motion to move the item higher up in the agenda that remained - Item H, which dealt with the reconsideration of the height matter.  Disappointment was expressed that with the change in the agenda, and not moving Item H, kept the item at the end of the agenda.  This means that those that wanted to talk on the height issue have to wait until the end of the meeting.  There are a little over a half dozen people in the white shirts provided by the PAC.

I will be taking a video during Commission comments - Item 6 - much of the discussion centered around the unsuccessful negotiation in filling the internal auditor position.  Likewise, I got a lot of video of the Commission's discussion after public comment on unagendaed items.  The Mayor had a particularly strong series of statements about the political nature of this petition drive and it coinciding with an election year for some.  I counted a total of 18 people who spoke under this public comment - there were eight people that mentioned the right to vote or the height issue, and both sides were represented in the comments.

They are now on to unfinished business and dealing with the change orders for the Lynn Road project (Item 11.A.)  McVoy has a lot of questions and seems to be against this item.  It is Ed Devaux's company and he is defending himself before the City Commission.  McVoy is saying that it is obvious that this was a muck soil area - Mr. Deveaux is saying that you wouldn't know it if it weren't tested.  The mayor is urging some action other than just discussing it back and forth - staff is saying that one should be denied, but change orders 1 and 3 should be approved.  A motion was made in support of the staff recommendation - and it was seconded.  The contractor believes that it was legitimately an unforeseen condition.  The motion is being modified so that item 2 can be clarified and that discussions continue with staff.  The original motion is still alive and apparently is not being changed.  This is as issue between what the contractor's responsibility to know and not know.  Maxwell is offering a compromise.  He is talking about perhaps amending the amount requested on Item 2.  Mayor says that there is doubt and where we are unsure, we should take a second look.  McVoy is changing the motion to included a re-look.  Change order #2 is apparently holding up the project.  City Manager wants the whole item tabled now and he will sort it out.  He says he will resolve it one way or the other.  The whole thing is tabled to a time uncertain.  Unanimous.

Ten minute break.  8 p.m.

Attention: Call to Artists!

Click or download image for more detail.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Important City Commission Work Session tonight (7/16) re Budget/Beach/Electric Rates

The City Commission has lots to talk about tonight.  Click here for full agenda and back-up material.  Included in the discussions will be just how the city will manage the ballroom space, along with a review of the financial projects - the summary of which is posted above.  Missing in any strength, weaknesses, opportunity and threat analysis is the prospect of paying Greater Bay a significant sum in the form of a settlement for their current lawsuit against the city for breach of contract.  But I do understand that is bad strategy prior to the case going to trial - which should be sometime in September.

CPNA - P&Z meeting regarding the Dixie Discount Beverage convenience store

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

A reminder that the issue we discussed at the last College Park Neighborhood Association meeting regarding the convenience store on the corner of Dixie and Cornell Drive, will be coming back to the Planning and Zoning Board this Wednesday, July 18th at their regular meeting, 6 PM at City Hall.

The owners of the Dixie Beverage convenience store are applying for a Proximity Distance Waiver to allow a 3PS Beer, wine and liquor package alcohol license and a Special Land Use Application to establish a liquor store within the High Intensity Commercial District in which they are located.

We are grateful to the Planning and Zoning board for deferring this decision until the Neighbors of College Park had the opportunity to meet with the owners on June 25th. and we are grateful to the owners, Hares Amin and Pankil Patel for meeting with the College Park Neighbors to share information, concerns and answer questions.

At the meeting on Wednesday evening, City Planning and Zoning staff are recommending that the P&Z board grant their approvals. Certain conditions to those approvals have been revised following concerns raised at the College Park meeting. Among those concerns were included the drive-thru window, window signage and the "high end" or "low end" characteristics of the eventual product lines to be offered.

The Planning  and Zoning staff have spoken to those concerns in their recommendation for approval. However, the public is invited to attend the meeting and speak to their personal concerns and the Staff conditional recommendations for approval.

The back-up information for this item is on the City's website. On the Planning and Zoning board agenda for July 18th, this is Item 4.F.a - PZB 12-00500002. Click here for the link.

Neighbors may also wish to send their thoughts on this issue to the Planning and Zoning board via Department of Sustainability Director, Mr. William Waters. His email address is: or to any of the Planning and Zoning board members whose email addresses can be found here.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Rejection of commercial equestrian project may tag Wellington as anti-business, some fear

Click title for link.  Council changes in Wellington, and possible missed deadline, send developer and Wellington to court.  Wellington would be wise not to follow the Lake Worth model.  This is what Greenacres Mayor Sam Ferreri says about what happened in his community - and what I maintain is currently happening here in Lake Worth with a lack of a coherent set of development regulations and comprehensive plan:

Ferreri had to deal with a similar challenge in Greenacres, which during the late 1980s struggled with a disjointed development process that turned off applicants, he said: “It’s taken us 15 years to overcome.”

Sheriff searching for gold SUV that struck three adults, two...

This is from the PBP- they say that it was the 800 block of North H.  Click title for link.

5 people in the hospital after Hit and Run in Lake Worth

This happened in the 800 Block of H Street.  I am assuming south, not north.  If anyone can confirm or has any other information on this, please post as comment.  Click title for link to WPTV website.