Saturday, April 28, 2018

Don’t dillydally! Make plans this week to go and see, “Lake Worth Art League Celebrates 1000th Exhibit”.

This exhibit ends tomorrow, Sunday, April 29th.

The Lake Worth Art League is located in Downtown Lake Worth. The location, phone number and email address for the Lake Worth Art League are below. As reported in The Lake Worth Herald by citizen/reporter Cathy Turk, who is also a member of the Lake Worth Art League, is this news:

The Lake Worth Art League is hanging its 1000th art exhibit . . . As a perfect tribute to this landmark occasion, members brought in over 60 paintings, photographs, and mixed-media pieces bursting with the colors and visions of Spring.

and. . .

     The Lake Worth Art League is a 501(c)3 non-profit and the oldest art organization in Palm Beach County. It began in January 1941 with 30 artists showing their first exhibit in the Strait Museum, which is now the Children’s Room in the Lake Worth Public Library.
     In the past 77 years the Lake Worth Art League has had many exhibit spaces throughout Lake Worth including Casino Building which became the “Gallery by the Sea,” the City Hall Annex Building, and today, in the Artist’s Eye Gallery & Boutique.


The Art League’s Artist’s Eye Gallery is conveniently located at 604 Lucerne Ave. in Downtown Lake Worth. There is plenty of FREE parking nearby. For more information call 561-586-8666 or send an email to:

The Art League exhibit also features artwork by
Oksana Urban, Jen Rubinstein, and Clinton Brown.
To look over the latest front page of the Herald click on this link. To contact the editor call 561-585-9387 or by email:

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Public meeting TONIGHT: Historic Preservation Design Guidelines.

Meeting begins 7:00 at Lake Worth Casino Ballroom.

Questions? At the end of this blog post
is contact information.
“We hope you can join us for this important event that will help to shape the future of our great City.”
“These guidelines are being prepared by Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council and City Staff
as a guide for property owners located within
a Historic District.”

This is a public meeting open to everyone from the public, especially those who live in the following neighborhoods that include historic districts (click on links to learn more about each of these neighborhoods in the City):

Here are your contacts if you have any questions or would like more information:

  • Mark E. Stivers, AICP, Assistant Director for Planning & Preservation: Call 561-586-1617; email:
  • Aimee Sunny, Historic Preservation Coordinator: Call 561-586-1690; email:

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Quote of the night from last night’s workshop held at Lake Worth City Hall:

Honest to God!

What has The Palm Beach Post
done for us lately?”

The video of last night’s meeting at Lake Worth City Hall is below. Check back later on today or tomorrow for more about what happened, and even more importantly, what did not happen.

But the quote of the night was from the inimitable Mary Lindsey, who as the former president (now honorary “President Emeritus”) of the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council (NAPC), summed up the problem quite nicely, succinctly, and even interjected a little faith about public policy into the discussion during the public comment portion of last night’s public meeting:

“Commissioner [Scott] Maxwell is 100% right. As a community we went through hell for 7½ years putting these pulling LDRs [Land Development Regulations] together. A big part of the issue then [2010–2011] I see has continued and it’s lack of public notification. [emphasis added]
     I understand it’s a publicly noticed meeting [referring to last night’s work session] and that all the legal requirements for that are met. But somebody please for the love of Dear Holy Jesus tell my why we would spend one nickel notifying anybody of anything in The Palm Beach Post, especially the legal notices, when we have our very own local community paper of record [The Lake Worth Herald].
     Honest to God! What has the Palm Beach Post done for us lately?”

Public notification about public meetings was sort of a big topic at last night’s work session.

Below is the ad in the Post Mary Lindsey is most likely referencing — which is also called a ‘tombstone ad’ — because hardly no one from the public will pay any attention to it or care what the ad is about:

Tombstone ads are typically unadorned text, black on white, often enclosed in a simple box, with a centered headline and a number of lines in the body of the ad, usually also centered. The name originates from their similarity in appearance to the text on a tombstone (headstone) grave marker.

How many from the public look through the Sunday paper for legal ads about upcoming public meetings?

Especially so the Post loaded up with come-ons, coupons and circulars?
Mary Lindsey is absolutely correct. The Lake Worth Herald should be our paper of record publicly noticing public meetings. And the NAPC needs to be notified as well. And remember, it was because an “egregious” and “incompetent” story in The Palm Beach Post our City had to go out and hire a public information officer.

If you wish, fast forward to the two hour and forty minute mark to hear Mary Lindsey’s quote for yourself.

Enjoy the video!

TRAFFIC ALERT IN THE LITTLE CITY OF LAKE WORTH: Starting this week drive carefully in the POC.

“Beginning on Monday, April 23rd Boutwell Road [in the POC] will be closed between 7th Ave. North and 10th Ave. North to allow for exciting expansion work to take place. Local traffic will still be able to proceed but all others should follow the detour route according to signage.”

—For more information about the City of Lake Worth’s Park of Commerce (POC) please click on this link.

Very important traffic
information follows!

For those who like to use Boutwell Rd. regularly as a shortcut, please share this news with everyone you know in the following areas and others who may be impacted by this road construction:

  • Residents of the City of Lake Worth east of Lake Osborne Drive, especially those in an area called the “Hermit Kingdom”.
  • Teachers, staff, and students at Palm Beach State College located in suburban Lake Worth.
  • Campers, RV residents, County staff and employees in the County’s spectacular John Prince Park.
  • Residents in the nearby Village of Palm Springs and customers of John Smith Subs.
  • A protest or two cannot be ruled out. So watch out for people carrying silly signs, banging pots and pans, and yelling, “Waterman was right proposing agricultural use for that land!
  • If you have business in the POC — or are visiting someone who lives in the area — and you see a chicken crossing the road click on this link to find out, “Why did that chicken cross Boutwell Rd. heading east to west?”
  • For residents in suburban Lake Worth along Helena and Lynnwood drives and Helyn Rd. this will be a temporary nuisance but will end up another good reason to be annexed by the City of Lake Worth. Just please remember our mayor’s name is Pam Triolo, not ‘Triollo’ or ‘Trillo’.
  • Scientists, researchers and surveyors exploring the L-4 (“Keller” Canal) between Lake Osborne and the C-51 Canal in preparation for the Blueway Trail and creating more public access on waterways in Palm Beach County.
  • The nightly crews with metal detectors and probes still searching for that $5M in cash that was rumored to have been stuffed down a gopher tortoise hole three years ago.

Please check back later on today and tomorrow for more areas that will be impacted by this road work on Boutwell Rd. and others that may be affected starting next week in the POC.

The photo below is a view of the groundbreaking ceremony on March 8th at Boutwell Rd.

Click on image to enlarge. This was a very good day for Lake Worth’s Vice Mayor Pro Tem Scott Maxwell (second from right in dark blue shirt):
All kidding aside, it’s very important to remember the work on Boutwell Rd. is funded by a Federal EDA grant of $1.39M in 2016 and $1.4M from the State of Florida that passed in this year’s State Budget. For more information please contact Mr. Ben Kerr, the Citys PIO at 561- 586-1631 or by email:

Hope you enjoy this very brief eight-second YouTube video below!

From left to right are commissioners Herman Robinson and Omari Hardy (both are seeking re-election on March 12th, 2019), Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Pro Tem Scott Maxwell, and City Manager Michael Bornstein (Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso was unable to attend):

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

There is a public meeting tonight at Lake Worth City Hall starting at 6:00.

To learn more about tonight’s meeting, “Proposed revisions to Land Development Regulations [LDRs]” look in the top right-hand column of this blog and click on your City Commission or use this link.

However, please note, as of 9:00 a.m. today this meeting has still not been noticed on the City’s public calendar (see below).

Am encouraging everyone interested to show up tonight, even if it’s just for a few minutes, and fill out a public comment card asking the City Commission for more neighborhood and community meetings about this very important issue of revisions to the City’s LDRs.

All public meetings need to be publicly noticed.
Can’t make tonight’s meeting but still want your voice to be heard? For ways to contact the mayor and commissioners for Districts 1–4 in this City click on this link.

Before you purchase a new home in Westlake there’s something you
might want to know.

Have you seen the “Governor’s Commission for
a Sustainable South Florida”? Read excerpts
from that report below.

One aspect of that report deals with crime and just as importantly, the perception of crime and “Revitalizing Southeast Florida’s Urban Core” along I-95, FEC and CSX rail right-of-ways.

And later on learn why the societal problems you’re trying to avoid by moving out west are going to show up on your front door soon enough. You’ll be stuck in a house worth pennies on the dollar and wish like hell you lived in a coastal city like Lake Worth.

One of the reasons why many home buyers and those considering moving to Central Palm Beach County (CPBC) move out west instead of choosing a coastal city such as Lake Worth, or cities near the coast like Greenacres, is because of misleading, confusing, and inaccurate press and media reports. For example, a Post reporter relied on flawed data (GIGO: “Garbage In Garbage Out”) from NeighborhoodScout and Nerd Wallet, both data aggregation sites that rely on zip codes for crime statistics (see map below).

That article was easily debunked. But how many people read it and believed it? And since when does a ‘newspaper of record’ depend on sites like Nerd Wallet? Don’t believe it? Use this link to read all about it.

 The City of Lake Worth uses 2 zip codes:
33460 and part of 33461.
33461: The areas in white are unincorporated (called “suburban” Lake Worth or Lake Worth Corridor). Sites merely accumulating data — e.g., crime and demographics — do not distinguish these areas
from the City of Lake Worth.

Once again, how many people read that ‘news’ in the Post and believed it? We’ll never know. But because of misleading reports such as those, and from other sources, many myths about crime continue about the City of Lake Worth. And below, at the end of this blog post, you’ll learn why Realtors here in CPBC and the City of Lake Worth will be very busy very soon.

The irony is. . .

On the pretense of personal safety and “fear of crime”, there will come a time when many of those home buyers fueling western sprawl will regret that decision.

Transportation, traffic, and the quality of life will degrade to the point they’ll look to coastal Palm Beach County in a whole new light. But by then their “investment” out west will be worth just a small fraction they were hoping for.

No one will want to live out there any more. Home prices will drop, socioeconomic problems will increase, and guess what? More crime.

Let’s focus on an important topic,
the perception of crime:

“The general population perceives that central city areas, whose residents are more likely to live under difficult socio-economic conditions, provide fewer safe opportunities for investment in residential property.”

The quote above isn’t anything new. What will be news to many is when it was written about our coastal regions in South Florida.

When was it written? The answer is below. Without further ado, below are excerpts from the “Governor’s Commission” on the topic of “Revitalizing Southeast Florida’s Urban Core”

“Because communities must be designed, built, and perceived as safe and secure places to live, both the prevention of actual crime and improvements to perceived levels of security are essential. Successful redevelopment and infill development will not occur in a high crime environment.

and. . .

“Social scientists and criminologists wrestle with the factors which can lead a person to criminal behavior. The vast majority of victims know their assailant, and murder victims are usually related to these assailants. Socio-economic conditions such as poverty, lack of education, unemployment, and a lack of positive role models, can exacerbate criminal tendencies.
     The general population perceives that central city areas, whose residents are more likely to live under difficult socio-economic conditions, provide fewer safe opportunities for investment in residential property. This belief is manifested in decades of institutional and individual investment decisions about the location of hazardous materials facilities, redlining, and abandoning older neighborhoods for the suburbs. Cumulatively, these decisions reduce the opportunities for employment and education that are most needed in these neighborhoods, reinforcing the effects of poverty and despair that, in turn, can contribute to criminal activity.
     There are neighborhoods in the urban core of Southeast Florida that continue to thrive despite negative perceptions about the people living there. These neighborhoods possess characteristics that help to neutralize the effects of nearby criminal activity: strong social institutions, unique architectural character or amenities, and a well-defined sense of community that fosters feelings of responsibility and obligation among its residents. Amenities and design elements that contribute to community building must be considered in the redevelopment of the urban core.

Quotes from Eastward Ho!, “Revitalizing Southeast Florida’s Urban Core”, pp. 26–27. Prepared by the South Florida Regional Planning Council in conjunction with the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council. An initiative of the Governor’s Commission for a Sustainable South Florida:

Published in July 1996.

From the “Executive Summary”, page 1,
of Eastward Ho!:

The area between the Florida East Coast (FEC) and Chesapeake Seaboard (CSX) railroads throughout the tri-county area was once the thriving, functional core of the region opened up by Flagler’s railroad.
     This is the Eastward Ho! area, where 44% of the region’s population reside. In the next 20 years, this area’s population is expected to be disproportionately minority, younger, less educated, less employable and poorer than the population as a whole. The housing stock will be older, home ownership lower.
     It is predicted that by 2015 nearly four out of five new residents will settle outside the Eastward Ho! study area. The burden on public finances will be inordinate. More and more land will be lost to accommodate people. Workers will be farther from their jobs, driving up the cost of labor and transportation.

and. . . the last sentence:

“Piecemeal developments will fail to resemble communities.”

Considering buying a home in Central Palm Beach County? Have you heard about the Meritage Homes “Lake Cove” housing development east of I-95 in the City of Lake Worth? Use this link to learn more about that, and from a letter to the editor in The Palm Beach Post:

“[U]rge prospective buyers to look into the abandoned home market for their families. In the city of Lake Worth, a charming, diverse and culturally rich area, there are hundreds of abandoned homes looking for someone to love them. Ask your Realtor to show you some.”

Just a reminder.

On the subject of Code Enforcement here in the little City of Lake Worth.

First, was the Gulfstream Hotel ever sitting vacant because of Code Enforcement?

No. That’s complete nonsense. Maybe later on The Palm Beach Post will blame Code Enforcement for the weather and bridge openings too.

After beat reporter Kevin Thompson’s article about the Gulfstream Hotel in Jan. 2017 the Post backpedaled and fast. It was completely nonsensical to report blaming Code Enforcement for the problems ongoing with that hotel. The reaction if you recall was swift from both the public and the City’s electeds and staff.

And it was in September 2016, in response to another article about Code Enforcement, City Manager Michael Bornstein became “infinitely aggravated” and took Thompson to task and calling his news report, “egregious” and “incompetent”.

Soon thereafter the City hired a communications specialist. A coincidence? Draw your own conclusions.

Some City of Lake Worth history is in order:

Palm Beach Post article from October, 2005.

Click on image to enlarge:

Fast-forward 12 years later. . . at the City Commission on June 20th, 2017, there was a proclamation for “Code Enforcement Officers Week”. Those in attendance from the Code Dept. received the biggest applause I’ve heard in a long time at City Hall.

They deserve it.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

“Workshop on Draft Ordinance 2018-07, proposed amendments to Chapter 23, Land Development Regulations”.

The Lake Worth City Commission will be holding a Workshop at City Hall next Tuesday (April 24th) beginning at 6:00.

Meeting is open to the public.

The agenda and backup material was posted to the City’s website last Friday afternoon (April 20th).

Discussion has been limited to 1½ hours on the proposed amendments to Chapter 23, “Land Development Regulations” and there will be no Public Comment unless the mayor decides to allow it.

To look over the entire agenda for this meeting click on this link and scroll down for City Commission “April 24, 2018” to download the agenda and backup material (pp. 1–128).

From the Executive Brief, an excerpt from the “Background and Justification” for this meeting:

On August 6, 2013 the City of Lake Worth adopted Chapter 23, Land Development Regulations of the Code of Ordinances. The LDRs include six (6) articles governing all development within the city. They are:
  • Article I: General Provisions.
  • Article II: Administration.
  • Article III: Zoning Districts.
  • Article IV: Development Standards.
  • Article V: Supplemental Regulations.
  • Article VI: Environmental Regulations.

For example, below is just one section taken from the agenda concerning the parking and storage of RVs, boats and trailers.

Note that within this 128-page agenda are many additions and deletions, “Amended by adding words and figures shown in underline type and deleting the words and figures that are struck through.”

From pp. 73–75 from the agenda next Tuesday, what follows is from Chapter 23, Article 4, Section 23.4–11, “Parking, Storage or Keeping of Certain Motor Vehicles, Recreation Vehicles, Boats or Trailers in Residential Districts”.

Recreational vehicle (RV) and Boat on Trailer (BT) regulations.

1. Location. RVs and BTs must be parked or stored behind the front building line. An administrative use permit may be granted by the planning and preservation manager Development Review Official, upon payment of the applicable fee, if the RV or BT cannot be located behind the front building line, provided:

A. Only one (1) may be located forward of the front building line.
B. It is of a size that does not cause it to extend onto or over public property or abutting private properties.
C. It is parked on a surface approved by the building department Community Sustainability Department.
D. A sketch of the location is submitted for approval to the building department Community Sustainability Department, including type and size of landscape material to be used to effectively screen the RV or BT from abutting properties, a photograph of the RV or BT and a copy of the registration.
E. The variance is applicable to the particular RV or BT to which the application is made. The purchase of a different RV or BT is subject to administrative review since the RV or BT may be of appropriate size as to now be located behind the front building line or of an inappropriate size for placement on the property.
F. At least two one (2 1) off street parking space spaces remains for resident parking of a personal vehicle, after the placement of the RV or BT.
G. No Any RV excepting boats shall not exceed ten (10) feet in height nor thirty forty (30 40) feet in overall length.
H. No BT shall exceed twenty-five (25) feet in overall length.
I. No RV or BT may be parked parallel to a public right of way.
J. No RV or BT may be parked in front of the main entrance to a residence.
K. No RV or BT may be parked in such a manner as to block emergency access and/or identification of building including address.
L. No RV or BT may be parked closer than 10′–0″ from any property line fronting a public right of way.
M. No RV or BT may be parked in such a location as to not meet the intent of this section whereby it must screened from public view and neighboring properties.
N. No RV or BT may be under repair or restored at a residential location.

2. Exceptions. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the following:

A. The parking of a motor home in the driveway when it is used as an everyday means of transportation, provided one (1) parking space remains for parking of a personal vehicle.
B. An RV or BT may be placed in an enclosed or visually screened carport, provided the unit does not protrude more than five (5) feet beyond the front building line and does not prohibit the legal parking of a vehicle in the driveway.
C. The parking or storage of boats or boat trailers along the east side of East Terrace Drive by the residents of East Terrace Drive. However, no parking or storage of a boat or boat trailer shall interfere with the flow of traffic along East Terrace Drive and are subject to all other provisions of these LDRs.

3. Restriction on number. There shall be no restriction on number provided that:

A. No more than one (1) RV or BTv may be located forward of the front building line.
B. Those RVs or BTs located behind the front building line are effectively screened from abutting properties.
C. All RVs or BTs must be currently registered, licensed, and permitted by appropriate governing authorities.

4. Restriction on size. There shall be no restriction on size other than the requirement that it shall not extend onto or over public property or abutting private properties.

5. Screening requirements. All RVs and BTs shall be effectively screened in accordance with other sections of this chapter from abutting properties, whether forward or behind the front building line, and for corner lots from the public right-of-way abutting the side property line.

6. Surface requirements. Behind the front building line, there shall be no surface requirements. However, those RVs located forward of the front building line shall be subject to surfaces approved by the building department in review of the administrative variance.

7. General conditions.

A. The RV or BT must be owned by the occupant of the property.
B. At no time shall such parked or stored RV or BT be occupied or used for living, sleeping or housekeeping purposes.
C. The RV or BT must be kept in a neat and operable condition, not wrecked, junked or partially dismantled. Additionally, no RV or BT shall be affixed to the ground or otherwise supported in a manner that would prevent its ease of removal from the property.
D. The RV or BT must be stored on property improved with a residence.
E. The parking of the RV or BT shall not cause other vehicles to be parked on sidewalks or on public right-of-way so as to create a hazard.
F. No major repair work may be conducted on the premises.

8. Nonconforming recreation vehicles. Recreation vehicles that are nonconforming under this section shall be made to conform to the provisions of this chapter within ninety (90) days of the passage of this chapter.

9. Appeal process. The planning and preservation manager's decision is final, but may be appealed to the appropriate board by the applicant or affected property owner, pursuant to section 23.2–17.

A public notice published about “ORDINANCE NO. 2018-■■ . . . AMENDING CHAPTER 23 ‘LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS’ ”:
How much more effective would this public notice been if it were published in The Lake Worth Herald? How many readers of the Post search for legal notices in a Sunday paper packed with come-ons, sales, circulars and coupons?

Stay tuned for more information about this public meeting next Tuesday, for example, it it’s decided to allow public comment and whether or not it is decided to hold more public meetings to engage and inform the public.

Lake Worth Commissioner Omari Hardy in his own words about a resolution and “[B]an on assault weapons”.

But first, on the topic of enacting and enforcing regulations on assault weapons, the editor(s) at The Palm Beach Post published an editorial today (Sunday, 4/22) titled, “Every Florida city should fight extreme state gun law” referring to State law and what local elected official can and cannot do to restrict guns.

So while many cities in Palm Beach County are still fully engaged trying to solve vexing problems like the heroin/opioid epidemic, was the editor at the Post suggesting today that small cities like the City of Lake Worth need to direct more funding and staff time to join a lawsuit that will drag on for many years?

The editorial in the Post today ends with this line about joining a lawsuit, that it “deserves every Palm Beach County municipality’s support.” The City of Lake Worth has already shown its support for more gun regulations when it passed Resolution 17-208 unanimously on Tuesday, April 17th and hopefully the editor(s) at the Post aren’t suggesting this City needs to do more. How much has the Town of Palm Beach done so far in support of strengthening gun regulations? Or the Village of Wellington? Palm Beach Gardens?

But anyhow. . .

Let’s get back to Lake Worth Commissioner Hardy in his own words about a City of Lake Worth resolution and a “[B]an on assault weapons”.

The editor(s) at the Post didn’t help matters much when they published another false and very misleading Letter to the Editor on April 17th vis-à-vis commissioners Omari Hardy and Herman Robinson and their stated positions on a ban of assault weapons within the municipal City limits.

Here are two excerpts from that ‘letter’ with the heading, “Kudos to Robinson for stance on guns”:

I was dismayed to read the letter, “Deter cowards with superior firepower” (Friday), stating that the writer disagreed with Commissioner Herman Robinson’s desire to ban all weapons developed for war from the city of Lake Worth.
     I commend Robinson for being the only commissioner [FALSE; see below for “Now for the facts”] to stand tall and ask for this reasonable approach to guns.

and. . .

     The answer is simple, and why is Robinson the only one [FALSE] to step up and ask the city of Lake Worth to do the right thing?

By the way, do remember another letter published recently in the Post about the City of Lake Worth being, “[L]ike one huge cheap biker bar”?

If you would like to write your own Letter to the Editor today, responding to all this silly nonsense on the editorial page, learn how by clicking on this link. It only takes 5–10 minutes to write a letter to the editor and have it published in the print edition next week.

Now for the facts:

On the agenda at the Lake Worth City Commission meeting held on April 17th are these two excerpts from Item 9I, “Resolution 17-2018”*:

The Resolution [17-2018] advocates for common-sense policies that keep guns out of dangerous hands while respecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners, and strongly believes that Congress and state governments should take action to close deadly gaps in the NICS.

and. . .

Commissioners [Herman] Robinson and [Omari] Hardy have requested that the City take a position advocating for changes by lawmakers at the Federal and State levels to significantly improve the processes such as background checks and for designating certain devices and weapons as illegal.

Why can’t the City of Lake Worth pass any laws restricting the sale of weapons? It ends up Hardy explained this situation quite well about three weeks ago, even better than the editor(s) at the Post were able to do in that editorial today.

Let Commissioner Omari Hardy explain “in his own words” from the dais at the City Commission meeting on April 3rd.

[Note that Commissioner Hardy concludes his
remarks about “assault weapons” at
the 33:30 mark in this video.]

*Resolution 9I is on pp. 103–115 of the Commission agenda. Click on this link to download the “Full Version” and read the entire resolution.
NICS   =  National Instant Criminal Background Check System.