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Last week BocaWatch published an article about the Hidden Valley Golf Course and the developer’s proposal to place over 100 residential homes on what is the only remaining green space in the north end of town.
The developer’s proposal has been reviewed and rejected by city staff; reviewed and rejected by the P&Z Board and continually opposed by most, if not all, the residents in the Hidden Valley section of the city. Yet, for some reason the City Administration placed this item on Tuesday night’s agenda under the section of Introduction of Ordinances;
Ordinance No. 5444 states as follows:
“An ordinance of the City of Boca Raton considering amendments to the transportation element of the City’s Comprehensive Plan; amending an objective and policy to establish an alternative transportation concurrency standard (ATCS) for the Boca Royale Planned Unit Development (PUD) to satisfy traffic concurrency along Northwest 2nd Avenue/East Country Club Boulevard north of Yamato Road, subject to certain mitigation measures and conditions, and authorizing execution of a mitigation agreement; deleting references to the Ocean Breeze Development, an expired project; deleting obsolete statutory references; reaffirming that an ATCS may only be authorized by the City Council through an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan; considering a universal conditional amendment to the Future Land Use Map of the Comprehensive Plan by redesignating certain property consisting of approximately 55.12 acres, generally located at 7601 East Country Club Boulevard, from Recreation and Open Space (PR) to Residential Low (RL), subject to conditions; providing for revisions to the Future Land Use Map; providing for severability; providing for repealer; providing an effective date (SC-17-09)”
In layman’s terms, the Introduction of Ordinance process brings the item forward and the Chair asks which council member wants to move the introduction. Once a council member moves the introduction forward, there is no further discussion, no action by the council; no public comment. With that one council member’s action, the item now is on course to be presented to the City Council at the next meeting for action; action to accept or reject the developer’s proposal on its merits. Had no council member moved the introduction forward, the item would have failed for lack of action and the developer would not be afforded the opportunity to present the zoning change proposal.
City Council members, who were well versed on the Introduction of ordinance process, could have simply remained silent and not introduced the ordinance; by remaining silent, the Council would have accommodated the Hidden Valley residents; would have signaled support for city staff and the P&Z Board’s rejection of the developer’s proposal. Simply by remaining silent when the item was brought forward….but no….one City Council member introduced the ordinance benefiting the developer with what will be a full hearing on the merits.
Council member Jeremy Rodgers is the developer’s champion here.
By introducing the Ordinance, Council member Rodgers now allows the proposal, a proposal that has been found to fail on many levels, the chance to win approval at the City Council level.
A hearty ‘thank you’ is now being extended to Councilman Rodgers from the residents, your constituents, in Hidden Valley….
What were you thinking???
Al Zucaro, Publisher