Saturday, October 12, 2019

“FEC [Florida East Coast] Railway station at Lake Worth, Florida”.


Image Number: DG01369. 1965 or 1966. Source: Howard C. “Pappy” Yochum. Description: 1 digital image, b&w. Click on image to enlarge:

For interesting history enter “Lake Worth” into the search bar at “Florida Memory: State Library & Archives of Florida” some time soon. If you would like to contact the State Archives use this link.


Residents in Lake Worth Beach: How much do you know about the POC?


The City’s Park of Commerce (POC) has been a major topic of debate for many decades. Many previous commissions and administrations have failed at the POC. Then in 2001 there came a major breakthrough. Then that failed too. The POC continued to languish once again for another fifteen years until another breakthrough in Feb. 2016 courtesy of the Federal Government and then in March 2017 another breakthrough courtesy of the State of Florida.

And then on March 31st, 2018 is a brief eight-second video. The City Commission heralding in new infrastructure and road construction along Boutwell Rd.

In this video, from left to right, are commissioners Herman Robinson (District 4) and Omari Hardy (District 2), Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Pro Tem Scott Maxwell (District 1), and City Manager Michael Bornstein. Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso (District 3) was in Washington, D.C. on City business.


Enjoy the video.



About that place called the POC. . .


Below is a map, and another video (this one with music!), helpful images, and much more information as well about that now-legendary place in this City.

The best news of all is last March Florida Gov. Rick Scott DID NOT line out an item in a spending bill, $1.4M in the 2018 State budget for the POC which made Lake Worth Commissioner Scott Maxwell very happy. Despite all the slings and arrows Maxwell fought for the POC for many years and even lobbied the governor in person that year. Again.

This item in previous budgets was lined-out three times in a row by the governor three years in a row.

Maxwell wasn’t alone. Mayor Pam Triolo and now-Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso fought hard for the POC. Traveling to Tallahassee and back so many times everyone lost count. And to see their faces on learning that the governor lined out the POC for the third time in 2017 was heartbreaking. But the next year it finally made the state budget and was passed into law.

And for years groups opposed to the POC staged all kinds of nonsense and PR stunts, for example just a few years ago the POC was, according to a former ‘reporter’ at WPEC/CBS12 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” in March 2018 and prior to that news about the Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant for $1.4 million.

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. Really. That’s true. 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 eighteen 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).


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:


Enjoy the video!