Friday, February 7, 2014

Three Responses to Mayor Jean Robb's Letter to the Editor


Dear Editor:
This letter is in comment to the Mayor’s Letter to the Editor that appeared in last week’s Observer (February 6, 2014).

Respectfully, it is bad public policy for the Mayor to suggest rescinding Section 11.01 of the City Charter, which was overwhelmingly approved by 75% of the votes in 2002. 

That Charter Amendment was partially helpful in preventing excessive development in the Beach area.  These protections are still favored by the citizens.

If the Mayor has a better idea to protect the Beach from excessive development, traffic congestion and other matters, she should:

1.            state her specific proposed changes instead of speaking or writing in non-specific generalities,

2.            prepare a Referendum on her specific proposed changes, and

3.            gather sufficient signatures to put her specific proposed changes on the ballot for the voters.  
 
My impression as to why the Mayor has not publicly stated her specific proposed changes is that she does not have any ideas to improve Section 11.01 of the Charter, or she knows that her proposals would be considered either very unpopular with the public or not legally viable. 
Tom Connick

 
To the Editor:
Deerfield Beach Mayor Robb wants to do away with the codes that protect the beach from overdevelopment; codes that were overwhelmingly voted in by the residents.

She seems to think that allowing larger development on the beach will eliminate drug rehab and “sober” houses, in her words, in last week’s Observer: “what is being proliferated in the beach area today” on the barrier island.  These establishments are a protected use according to the Americans With Disabilities Act. 

Blaming the current code for this is beyond absurd.  The argument that property owners are being forced into selling their properties to the rehab folks just doesn’t hold water.  No one can be forced to sell or rent to someone if they don’t want to.

Mayor Robb wants the commission to “step up and create its own new ordinance to deal with the changes in the beach area”.  She doesn’t say what she wants in the ordinances.

She may have forgotten, but the City Attorney, and the commission, put in place all the legal restrictions they could in regard to group homes.

Allowing codes that would allow higher and wider development on the beach goes against everything the residents of Deerfield Beach want. As witness the 75% vote count in favor of the referendum on building codes.

Beach property owners are able to build 55’ tall buildings, which should be enough for anyone to make a big profit in 2014 as well as in 2002. 

Far from threatening development on the beach, Charter Section11.01 is protecting what we have and allowing rational building, as witness the new hotel on the beach front, which is built to code.
Bett Willett


 
To the Editor:
 It is outrageous that Deerfield Beach Mayor Jean Robb wants to eliminate or change the building codes for the beach area.

The Original Save Our Beach walked throughout the city and gathered over 9000 signed petitions to put two referenda on the November 2002 ballot.

These referenda were to protect the beach area from over-development.  The residents overwhelmingly approved both referenda with more than 21,000 votes.  

There has never been an outcry from residents to overturn either of these referenda. The Public Vote was 75% in favor of the referenda protecting against beach over-development.

If anyone wants to destroy the protection of the beach area and change our city charter for whatever reason, they should hit the streets and try to gather signatures to place referenda on the November 2014 ballot.  See if voters are in favor of making the codes looser.

 They will find that the residents of Deerfield Beach do not want the codes changed.  They will find that public sentiment is very strong to protect the beach from massive development.  They will find that the traffic, parking and room on the beach for blankets and chairs cannot support more development than is already approved.
Marge Hilton

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