Thursday, July 23, 2009

Here, There and Everywhere

While reading Brttany Wallman’s post on the proposed Fort Lauderdale development “Bahia Mar Park” I remembered a few proposals in Deerfield Beach that had some similar components.

(However unlike Ft. Lauderdale, these projects were embraced wholeheartedly by Deerfield Beach’s commissioners until it got too close to election time. Only the outrage of the public got them reduced or cancelled, not our elected “representatives”.)

Kudos to the Ft. Lauderdale Planning and Zoning Board who turned the proposal down, maybe in response to the residents who say that “there has been no response to the many questions regarding traffic, parking, and mass as well as area concerns about the environmental and economic issues”, or maybe because they realize the city is not going to get a good financial deal out of the proposal, or maybe it is what they said, no use passing it now with so much negotiating yet to do.

Kudos also to some of the Commissioners who, according to the developer showed a “lack of enthusiastic support” and their mayor Seiler who says the project is “a little imposing”. Commissioner, Charlotte Rodstrom, is so opposed to the project she sent a letter to residents warning them about it.

But, however it turns out, good bad or indifferent for the location, I see a familiar pattern:

A developer wanting to use publically owned property to his best and the public’s least advantage. (Remind you of the Boinis pier deal?)

A developer coming before the city with the plan already ready to “chop a few levels off of the height of the towers”. Pretty sure here, they presented a bunch more than they wanted so they could look like the good guys “chopping” some off, leaving a slightly less massive overly dense plan. (Hmmmm, does the Deerfield Beach TOD plan come to mind?)

A developer (and usually the city) paying no attention to the quality of life of the neighborhood, or any attention to potential harm for the barrier island. (Remember the gem of a proposal by our commission to make the entire Deerfield Beach beach a commercial district RAC?)

This is a post by a resident after Wallman’s article - “We cannot build structures of this type on the east side of the sound. Expensive buildings like this just raise our insurance rates when the big one hits. You don't tug on Superman's cape, you don't spit into the wind, you don't pull the mask off of the Lone Ranger, and you don’t put these buildings on the coast or on a flood plain”.

Wallman wraps up with: “But the city must decide: Is the $500 million proposal called Bahia Mar Park too much development? And would taxpayers benefit enough to justify it?”

Ah, yes, TOO MUCH DEVELOPMENT, very bloody likely, TAXPAYERS BENEFIT, not bloody likely.

Residential development costs taxpayers money, more cops, firefighters, water, streets (now that Crist says we not the developer, have to pay for them), schools, etc. etc. Study after study shows we pay, and pay, and pay for residential over-development.

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