An Open Letter to Prospective Boca Raton City Council Members


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Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better. – Sydney J. Harris

Protecting the heritage of Boca Raton is an essential part of maintaining our unique sense of identity and differentiation, and ultimately our sense of who we are. Many factors combine to create a community’s distinct uniqueness including a special blend of geography, architecture and history.

Weak local government in apparent collusion with real estate developers are combining to put tremendous pressure on our brand and infrastructure. Boca Raton is under assault and that assault is evident in creeping homogenization, increasing congestion, reduced quality of life and growing animosity between residents and those who hold political and economic power.

Adhering to smart growth principles should be central to the platform of any politician running for office in our March elections.  Growth cannot, must not and should not come at the cost of erasing our unique historical signature.

Boca Raton City Council members are stewards of a remarkable resource. It is your duty to be custodians of our past legacy as well as creators of the heritage of tomorrow.

I urge you to commit to building on that heritage, while working in collaboration with residents, developers and our business community. Thank you.

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  1. Please review history and the facts. The residents wanted this development.

    In 1980, the City Council designated 344 acres in downtown as a community redevelopment area under the Florida Statutes. As a result of this legislation, the Boca Raton Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) was also established. The purpose of this action was to stop the deterioration of the downtown area and give people a reason to come to downtown Boca Raton.
    The mission of the CRA is to advocate, administer the policies, and assist the public, downtown property owners and businesses in order to achieve the CRA Vision of the Downtown.

    In a series of actions that began in 1982, the City Council adopted guidelines for land use control and for transportation and parking concept and design to be implemented in redeveloping the area. The area continued to languish. In 1986, the Agency undertook a public initiative to stimulate redevelopment by developing a master plan, which included numerous infrastructure improvements (Visions 90), and provided a detailed framework within which redevelopment could occur.

  2. I am inviting Mr. Hartford to find the time to take a trip down Palmetto Park Rd and having done so try to convince me and the 20,000 other readers of this blog that the aesthetic and scale of Palmetto Promenade are appropriate for it’s location. Having done that I would be happy to submit several other travesties for him to comment upon.


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