This article, originally published by Al Zucaro on BocaWatch.org, is preserved for historical purposes by Massive Impressions Online Marketing in Boca Raton.
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Clearly another example of a community divided….BocaWatch has published a series of articles concerning the Mizner 200 development application. These articles mostly outlined the project’s deficiencies as pointed out by neighboring property owners; to wit: Townsend Place and Investments Limited. The time has come for a final decision. Last week’s BocaWatch article presenting results of the CAB and P&Z meetings drew serious community comment/criticism. Perhaps in response, Boca Beautiful’s Board of Directors submitted below a follow up article. Besides announcing the July 24th CRA action date, there is little new news contained. Jack McWalter’s video commentary presents a countervailing point of view. Final decision cannot come soon enough. This item has become a defining community concern. Our elected officials now have to take the ‘hard’ decision; have to demonstrate ‘leadership’ for all to see! That is why they get paid the big bucks.
Al Zucaro, Publisher
It all comes down to this: following approvals by the Community Appearance Board and the Planning and Zoning Boards, Boca’s City Council (sitting as the Community Redevelopment Agency) will consider whether to approve the Monster on Mizner on July 24th. It will take three votes to send the project back to the drawing board for further improvements or to send a signal that “anything goes” when it comes to development in our already crowded downtown.
Here are three good reasons why the City Council should reject Mizner 200 as proposed:
1. The building is too large for the neighborhood in which it will sit. Distinguished local architects Doug Mummaw and Derek Vander Ploeg have written a detailed treatise on this and the other design flaws of Mizner 200. It is well worth reading. As a single building of over 1 million square feet (almost 1000 feet long, 120 feet high and 400 feet deep), it is by far the largest project ever proposed for Boca’s Downtown. In contravention of Boca’s Architectural Design Guidelines, it will block the vistas and views of its neighbors. It should be broken up into three distinct buildings, as was ordered on other large sites, for example the Via Mizner property on Camino and Federal.
2. Downtown Boca does not have the infrastructure in place to support yet another concrete monstrosity. With most of the new and approved construction in our downtown yet to be finished and occupied, traffic on the five major streets in our Downtown is already intolerable. There is no place to drive, no place to park. Worse, there is no plan in place to correct this; only plans like Mizner 200 that will make it worse. Why not take a pause in the approval of new construction projects until you have a plan in place to deal with the impact of these projects on our quality of life? Why the rush to gridlock?
3. Mizner 200 is more than just a big, ugly building (think of the Mark times four). It is perhaps the last chance for our City Council to take corrective action to slow the unfettered “urbanization” of our Downtown. Development is good; overdevelopment is not. New construction should be neighborhood friendly and infrastructure compatible. Mistakes were clearly made in the development of Downtown Boca over the past 8 years. Do not compound those errors by approving Mizner 200 as it is currently proposed. You will make a lot of unhappy voters angry, and a lot of angry voters even angrier.
IF YOU AGREE, TELL BOCA’S CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS TO VOTE AGAINST APPROVAL OF MIZNER 200 AS NOW PROPOSED. WE NEED PLANS FOR BETTER PARKING AND TRAFFIC, NOT PLANS FOR MORE CONCRETE MONSTROSITIES.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD BY JULY 24TH:
Boca Raton City Council e-mail addresses
Mayor Susan Haynie – firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy Mayor Jeremy Rodgers – email@example.com
Councilman Mayor Robert Weinroth – firstname.lastname@example.org
CRA Chair/Councilman Scott Singer – email@example.com
Andrea O’Rourke – firstname.lastname@example.org
City Council Address for regular mail
Boca Raton City Hall
201 W. Palmetto Park Road
Boca Raton, FL 33432
City Personnel and Offices
City Manager Leif Ahnell 561-393-7703
City Attorney Diana Frieser 561-393-7716
City Council& Mayor’s Office 561-393-7708
IF YOU DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO E-MAIL OR FEEL LIKE WRITING, JUST CALL THE CITY COUNCIL NUMBER 561-393-7708 AND LEAVE A STRONG MESSAGE!
The Board of Directors