Saturday, June 1, 2013

There Goes the Neighborhood

Land use designations are the MOST important decisions a city makes when thinking about the quality of life of its residents.

Each city has a comprehensive plan in which uses of property are set out.  It puts industrial sites as far away from residential housing as possible.  The plans are well thought out, include residents’ input, and steer (with any luck) common-sense future development in the city.
In Deerfield Beach, you will find problems cropping up where developers convinced some former commission that the plan should be changed, so we have residents complaining about the dirt and noise of industry and the smell of Mt. Trashmore.  Housing should never have been allowed in those places. 

The Deerfield Country Club golf course must not be allowed to turn into an industrial park.  Future traffic problems will be overwhelming and the loss of open space in our city will be irrevocable.  Future commissions will be beset with complaints from residents, the residential area’s property values will take a serious hit, and the quality of life in the neighborhood will decline year after year. What then?
Look at the graphic of Deerfield Beach’s land use.  Look where the purple (industrial) areas are, they were placed away from residential (yellow, brown) areas. Contrast, on the map, how little open (green, teal) space, there is compared to the purple and red (commercial).




Look at the green Deerfield Country Club golf course land at the top of the graphic.  The golf course, designated recreational use, acts as a buffer between the residents on the right and the industrial area on the left.  It was planned that way.
Notice the purple area next to the golf course; it only has one road leading out to Hillsboro Boulevard, this road already serves 14 or more large businesses and a large hotel in a smaller space than the golf course area.  Workers tell me it is a long painful process getting out of there after work especially if one needs to go west on Hillsboro. 

No matter what the hired traffic experts the developer brings in tell us, adding a lane or even two will not mitigate the traffic.  No way, no how!   
And, if the change is made, I predict that the traffic problems will be so bad in a few years that NW 3rd Street or NW 2nd Court will pressed into service as an exit, right through the residential area.  No matter what promises are made, when businesses put pressure on some future commission they will cave in, further trashing the property values in the area.

Look again at the map, look at the wealth of purple and red, anyone who wants to bring a business to Deerfield Beach has acres available; along the railroad and out west away from our congested city center and away from residential properties. Where they should be, where it makes common sense, where the planners put them.
 

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