The residents who attended last night’s (Thursday, 2/3) Deerfield Beach CRA public meeting were presented with the identical introduction by Keven Klopp, CRA Director as the previous meeting. (See the third post below)
Then residents spoke (to everyone, but especially to Keven and the commissioners who were in attendance).
People who were not at the last meeting spoke first and also emphasized NO PARKING GARAGE on the Main Beach Parking Lot. As at the first meeting the speakers were loudly applauded.
There were many others who cared enough to attend both meetings, who spoke again about improving the S curve, sprucing up the area, helping businesses in the cove with improvements, adding beach access points, buying Sullivan Park property and improving it, and other ideas, but mostly about the fear of a parking garage.
Generally the theme was enhance what we have, clean up the neighborhoods and put in curbs, sidewalks and landscaping. Improve the infrastructure. A suggestion to use CRA money to buy a show mobile by George Edwards went over very well. Dave Gravell spoke at length about not wanting a garage, and fixing up the side streets and the landscaping at the parking lot.
People did NOT want a permanent band shell. Many said the CRA should buy the old Riverview property at Sullivan Park; one mentioned buying the Chamber building.
Marge Hilton showed her parking lot photos which proved that even at the height of the season on a nice warm sunny day there were parking spots available at the lot. Keven quipped; “You saved the CRA the trouble of doing a parking study”.
Tom Connick asked that the CRA Board/Commission put to rest the fears of any building on the Main Beach Parking Lot, saying that the underlying uneasiness and lack of assurances from the city gets in the way of anyone thinking about other areas of the CRA. He stated that we need an unequivocal statement: “The city will not build on the Main Beach Parking Lot”.
I cannot see how the CRA Board could have missed the message; I look forward to the next CRA Board meeting and a vote not to build on the lot. Ever. Never.
I look forward to their vote to use some of the $5.8 million funds on hand to start on the suggested improvements now, and a plan to use CRA funds for infrastructure items in the CRA that would otherwise be funded by city money, thus freeing up money to benefit the rest of the city.
The residents are the ones who matter, the residents are the ones who should set the agenda. The residents moved here because of the quality of life in Deerfield Beach and they should not take a back seat to tourists and events. As one person said, “Sometimes you just want a quiet time at the beach”.