Boca Raton Strategic Planning Workshop


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Publisher’s Comment:  Below is a stream of consciousness for the topics discussed at the City Council’s visioning workshop last Thursday and Friday.  Thanks are extended to Jo-Ann Landon for monitoring the Council’s activities and capturing sentiments conveyed by our elected officials in this year’s session.  Al Zucaro, Publisher


Some of the Subjects Covered:

City Staff:

Is it getting too large? Need to catch up after recession & with add. growth need to hire more staff / employees, and number of retirees. Identity areas we need to staff.

Waterfront Plan:

Lief states that plans are being made for Boardwalk & walkway under the bridge to Silver Palm Park. waiting for Plan from hired Waterway Parks company. All curious as to what the plan will look like.

How to resolve the intersection at N. Federal Hwy & 20th St. & 5th Ave:

FAU / 20th St. Corridor Enhancement:

Shops etc. that would attract students. Possible name change of road to University Way or another name.

City parking garage and aerial crosswalk over RR, Dixie & Federal Hwy to Mizner Park and another at Camino Real:

(Scott Singer suggested 7 yr. plan building garage on the Community Garden at Downtown Library and overpass at SW 18th St.)


George Brown stated that steps need to be taken to make sure that all involved properties (some properties were annexed into city from PB County) have the same designations and zoning before Developers present their proposals. The city should determine infrastructure, connectivity and not be driven by developers.

City Campus Master Plan: 

All government building on present City Hall site? Start a Public input forum.

Downtown Pattern Book:

Should it be modified, dropped, added to 4035?


Parking, make it more urban village friendly, better street lights, trees, sidewalk widening, Federal & Dixie Hwy re-direction, change speed limit. More code officers have been hired, need more police.

Public Responses: 

El Rio Park (SW18th St): Non motorized boat ramp scheduled for use in 2 years. Pickle Ball Court in 2019. (Three other people spoke on the need for dedicated Pickle Ball Courts)

FAU Architectural Students want to work with City on 20th St. Master Plan

Gumbo Limbo needs more parking. Tower being repaired.

Citizens Climate Group Regional Action Project. They asked Mayor and Council to endorse and sign due to Rising Seas & drinking water source becoming more salty.

Have more beds on FAU campus, do not follow NRA, Support ‘No Guns on Campus’, No need to build new Garish City Hall building, just expand existing and reopen front door. Police station is attractive.

Spanish River Library celebrates 15 years.

CAB Chair says developers submit 50 pages of drawings. Some buildings on Federal Hwy and some seen from I-95 are washed in colored lights? Because of total property build out, no room for tree canopy.

Yacht & Racquet Club 2 owners are dismayed over 4 story house being constructed along beach and want it stopped.

Concern about construction of Mizner 200.

FAU not protecting Burrowing Owls. Concerned about cell phone tower being built near 20th St. student housing.

Will Passenger train along Dixie Highway help pay for landscaping along tracks? Passengers will be looking at Boca as it goes by and will be surprised to see some areas are not very attractive.

Boca is often called “A City With In A Park’ therefore we should start to make our city more Green by planting more trees. Palms are being used more frequently now and Palms are not Trees…Trees are Trees and we need to make sure developers leave enough space to plant them. We need to find ways to help property owners understand the importance of hiring tree pruning companies that really know how to prune their trees. We need more code inspectors to encourage commercial property owners to follow our landscape codes. The City now has exotic vine removal on City property thanks to Parks Director Mickey Gomes and City Manager Leif Ahnell.

We need to find a way to transport people to the barrier island for recreation.

City needs to give more time to Jr. Varsity Rugby.

El Rio Research Park, we need to encourage new technology development innovators.

Hong Kong Orchid Tree, only pant the sterile variety. We need livable neighborhoods with no drugs in our World Class City.

We need to light our tall architectural buildings &  elevated walkways at night like European cities.

Two people from Boca Teeca spoke on the golf course issue. One extensively.

FAU stated that it would be good to have a shared bike program with the City. Jeff Attwater will be joining FAU soon.

Beach & Parks reported that Sugar Sand is back in action.

An Entertainment Salesman wants to work with City re: Downtown entertainment.

Boca Chamber stated it has helped keep our city taxes low.

Resident very concerned that our Historical Rail Road Station is up for sale. Can not understand that we would sell it to someone.

Resident very concerned about the enormous amount of Luxury Residential Rental & Condo buildings being constructed. Will the job pay scale be enough to fill these spaces? We do not want big white elephants on our hands.

Green Living Board has ideas on how to keep beaches cleaner. Want city to follow LEED design on City Complex.

Historic Preservation Ord. needs to be revised. by local government. Funding info CLG status. Historic Luff House will become the Fish House Restaurant.

Long time resident says sell the municipal Golf Course to Buyer with less hoops to jump through.

Boca Ballet Theatre, Cultural Council has no venue to support Arts. Lets create environment & Quality of Life like Sarasota, Santé Fe, New Mexico, Palm Beach & Ft. Lauderdale. The Arts need the City’s support.

Swim team of 25 kids uses Meadows Park Swimming Pool during May -August along with the public. Staff is excellent. Instead of refurbishing pool, please consider building two 20 & 50 meter pools like the ones in Deerfield Beach.

Boca Airport has had tremendous impact from Flight Path pattern changes due to The President’s visits to Palm Beach. The Tower has aided other nearby airports during this time. Customs will be available in July & August and will be turned over to Federal Government. Customs will be available 5 days Thursday thru Monday 9:30-6:30. Tracking will start on international landings. Water Treatment plant still in question.

El Rio Canal needs help in picking up landscape debris. North and South area needs cleaning. Ft. Lauderdale has two boats they use. Neighbors along canal should watch for landscapers dumping garden debris into water.

Friends of Library, a non profit organization has been working to help the Library for 20 yrs. This year they were able to contribute $50K. Ann Nappa has done wonders with our Libraries Live Community Out reach programs.

The Downtown Advisory Committee reports they have addressed Transportation, Traffic Calming, Landscaping, Public Safety, Cultural & Public Branding, International Tourism, Pattern Book and Government Campus.

The Historical Museum has a buyer for the Downtown Historical Rail Road Station. They want to put in the sales agreement that the exterior can not be touched. The Old Town Hall has changed the exhibits within their interior space. WWII and IBM is now on exhibit. The fire bay will now be used as a children’s room & the Gift Shop is now located in another room.

Property owner from Paradise Palms subdivision asked that the City not let the developers make the decisions in the area recently called Midtown.

Wildflower 3 phases: site needs the City to change the comp plan map; the EDSA Waterway Study; and complete this passive park.

City needs to grow small businesses. Former residents who have left would return here with some help such as Health Insurance for families.

Keep Boca Raton..Boca Raton!

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  1. What did the elected officials list as their priorities? Are these priorities consistent with residential priorities?

  2. Jo-Ann, you may have missed the point presented by the Chairman of CAB. That is, the CAB should be the first City Committee to be seen by a developer or Owner for its input, before a great deal of money and time is spent on either a new development, or a redevelopment. The CAB feedback is valuable to everyone, and by administrating that process, everybody wins…this is not stated clearly in the existing Boca Raton ordinance but should be modified as a requirement. Hopefully the City Manager, staff and Council will have time to direct the city attorney to provide for same…thank you.


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