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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Midtown Boca, the largest rezoning ordinances in Boca Raton history, is up for the second of two required hearings in front of the City Council on January 23 at 6:00 P.M…..
The City Council is considering approval of the latest draft ordinances that will determine quality of life of all Boca Raton residents for the foreseeable future!
As requested by City Council, and under the guidance of Director of Development Services Brandon Schaad, city staff was tasked with creating the ordinances for Midtown. The ordinances were then presented to Planning and Zoning which recommended some modifications for further consideration by City Council, that offered some minor benefit to the landowner/developer. As you might expect, Representatives for the Petitioner (landowner/developer) recommended substantial changes to the proposed ordinances in their favor. The original city staff recommendations, along with P&Z and Petitioner recommendations were presented to City Council during the first required hearing last week. During the proceedings, Councilwoman Andrea O’Rourke brought forward information that should have given pause and further investigation to all others on the council.
Next Tuesday the Council will take up this issue and may allow the developer to move forward as a final vote will most likely occur….
This is unacceptable to many residents….
A myriad of issues remain open….issues like density, safety, traffic, parking, impacts, and quality of life are mostly unknown and will remain unknown unless the City Council delays approval and requires the developer to provide a Master Plan.….
Councilwoman O’Rourke, at the first reading, raised the question of a Master Plan and actually questioned the Director of Development Services “Do we need a Master Plan” for the Midtown area. The answer: Yes! She also presented language within the City’s comprehensive plan that a citywide market study is necessary; is required in the section on Planned Mobility Developments (PMD); and is supported in the plain language of the City Code.
Councilmembers Haynie, Rodgers, Singer and Weinroth remained silent on the issue of a master planning process without arguing for or against its need. In essence, they offered no support, or appetite for discussion, for an item required by code, or for an item recommended by the Director of Development Services.
The PMD section of our Comp Plan is clear; it requires that a citywide market study “shall be performed”; mandatory language requiring a study that has not been done. City Code Section 23-60 also is clear. It states that “…no land development regulation or code shall be adopted or amended except in a manner consistent with the comprehensive plan.” The code goes on to state that where there is inconsistency, the comprehensive plan must be amended before final action on a proposed land development regulation or code.
The City Council needs to follow these directives!!!
Residents must contact all the members of the City Council demanding they follow the code (Citywide impact market study) and follow the guidance (Create a Master Plan First) of the hired professionals the city employs to oversee development in the city.
Mayor Susan Haynie – email@example.com
Deputy Mayor Jeremy Rodgers – firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilman Mayor Robert Weinroth – email@example.com
CRA Chair/Councilman Scott Singer – firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrea O’Rourke – email@example.com
Residents should also plan on attending the January 23rd hearing to further demand the City Council act in the ‘resident friendly’ manner.
It all boils down to this….
The Council must act in the residents’ best interest and not act in the developers’ best interest….
With council elections just 8 weeks away, I suggest that the residents’ best interests must be made to be in the forefront of the elected officials minds….Your voice must be heard
Your vote is your voice; let your voice be heard NOW!!!!
Al Zucaro, Publisher
Al thank you for this valuable information. It’s time the citizens take back their city! I’m sending my emails to the counsel now. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH !!!!!
It is inconceivable that after the failures of the past twelve years, Boca’s City Council would proceed with yet another massive development approval without consideration first of a master plan for the area. Had we had a proper master plan for the Downtown in 2005, we would not be facing the traffic and congestion problems we have today. Why is it so difficult to require that there be a plan to ensure that we have adequate infrastructure (roads, parking, schools, hospital beds, emergency services) BEFORE we approve development that will increase Boca’s population and the demands on our infrastructure and services? It’s just common sense.
John Gore asked for common sense. The reason we see ourselves continuing down this path is Special Interest’s who pay some of our City Council members to do their bidding. Look at any of the candidates running for office. With the exception of Monica Mayotte, their most significant benefactors are: Developers, the legal services for developers and business associated with developers. It’s legal but it shows the weakness of candidates who have no spine. Just read the campaign contribution graphs developed from the City Clerks office that appeared in Boca Watch this week. The only numbers that should count are from individuals not associated with the Cabal of Development. Vote for RESIDENT FRIENDLY CANDIDATES. Or, enjoy: concrete, no plans for development as in Midtown, high traffic, no parking, no open space etc. You get what you vote for.
We know how they will vote. The recent follow the cash gave us the answer. Their bought and paid for……
The special interest groups will destroy our City and move their money and over development up the Coast.
Scott….surprise us… act like you care about the City and not just your political career!
Enough is enough.
I moved my family here during 1972
A beautiful Bedroom community.
Let us keep it that way.
Crocker is the one who gains the most, who is the one person pushing for it.
Who is pushing for two stations? Hmm
Boca does not need 2 Tooneyville Train stations
Our gasoline Taxes are being used to subsidize this Train operation
Which has Lost our Tax money from the start
This plan smells, and should be investigated
Reply Reply to All Forward More
The plan afoot to add a massive development to the Town Center area is totally ridiculous. The current residents of Boca Raton do not want a massive development. Part of the reason that Boca is so charming is it’s small town feel. Why is it possible to make a huge decision for change without the permission of its residents. Everybody I speak to is appalled by the prospect of changing our beautiful city into a carbon copy of metropolis’ across the country. It is interesting to know that the only people that want massive development are the ones who are so closely connected to the developers. Is it possible that the decision makers are aligned financially with the developers?
I was just reviewing the agenda for the City Council meeting on Tuesday. Al, is there a way you can share talking points to your readers for giving public comment at the meeting? Which ordinance(s) involve Midtown? It looks like a list of them. Please advise so we can be most effective in our communication. Thank you.
Good morning Sandi, Yes, I will try to get this done over the weekend for a special blast before the meeting. Of critical importance is that the City Council members hear from people that Midtown is not ready to move forward; that the need for a master plan is critical; that the required city wide market study has not been done and that residents were not informed about the 1st reading two weeks ago because notice of the hearing was not sent to the residential communities….
Of course, filling City Hall chambers on Tuesday evening is the most effective tool for residents to voice their objections and demand that the developer be made to comply with the will of the residents….Please let all your neighbors and friends know about this most important matter. The more voices, emails, phone calls and attendees the better….thank you….Al Zucaro
Thanks as always for getting this word out and showing up at the meeting last night. This website, your efforts, really make an enormous difference. We are very lucky to have you as our neighbor.